Category Archives: Roasts

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin; Recipe

Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

I wanted to cook something special for some friends at work. I was going to bake brownies or cookies but one of my friends has some food allergies… What better way to get around that than pork wrapped in pork. This was absolutely delicious; we devoured these tenderloins in a matter of minutes. I promised them the recipe so here it is.


Two pork tenderloinsBacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin 1

1/2 pound good smoked bacon

1 bunch fresh sage leaves

Fresh ground black pepper



Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Pepper tenderloins on all sides. place sage leave on all sides of tenderloins. No need to completely cover with sage; a little goes a long way. Wrap bacon around tenderloin. Place on a rack on a flat foil covered baking sheet or shallow roaster pan. Place uncovered in oven and cook until internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees. Let tenderloins rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Tip: Place wrapped tenderloins with the bacon seams on the bottom so they don’t unwrap while cooking.

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Enjoy!


Crown Pork Roast with Mashed Potatoes; Recipe

Heaven on a plate!

Heaven on a plate!

Crown Pork Roast with Mashed Potatoes; Recipe

The other day I was shopping for groceries when I saw this magnificent Crown Pork Roast at the meat counter of Fresh Market in Cincinnati. I was supposed to cook Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin but when I saw this I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time and I have an abundance of fresh herbs to use from my garden. About 19 years ago while camping in Mercer, Wisconsin My son’s mother (while pregnant with Chris) and I went for dinner at The Club 51 on Highway 51 that runs straight up the middle of the state. I’ve had many epic meals at Club 51 (one of many famed supper clubs in norther Wisconsin) but this one was truly amazing! Crown Pork Roast with Rosemary Crust. I can’t believe it has taken me so long to replicate this.




5-7 pound Crown Pork Roast bones Frenched

2 Large sprigs rosemary

2 Large handfuls fresh sage

6-7 cloves garlic

1/4 stick butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cracked black pepper or more to taste

Preheat Oven to 225 degrees

Let Crown Pork Roast come to room temperature for 1-2 hours on your counter.

Tip: letting your roast come to room temperature allows it to cook more evenly without the center being under cooked.

Cut butter into small chunks and place into a food processor; add remaining ingredients except olive oil. Pulse until well chopped. Add olive oil by drizzling into the top until a loose paste forms. carefully spread the paste over the entire roast. The paste will stick to roast quite well.

Going in the oven.

Going in the oven.

Roast uncovered until internal temperature reaches 150-155 degrees. Insert meat thermometer into the round end of the thickest part of the roast. My roast took about 5 hours but I caution; we are cooking to internal temperature not time. When your roast reaches the desired temperature; place on a cutting board and cover with a large bowl or foil. Let rest 15-20 minutes before carving. I normally start my mashed potatoes when the roast is almost done.

The Gravy & Stock

After the roast went in, I started the stock for the gravy. The butcher gave me the bone trimmings after cutting my roast to order. You can use bouillon but I prefer homemade and I had five hours to let my gravy stock come together.


2 pounds pork trimmings with bones

2-3 carrots with skin cut up

1 large onion cut up

2-3 ribs celery cut in half

5-7 cloves smashed garlic

handful black peppercorns

handful fresh sage

1 large sprig rosemary

1 cup white wine (not too sweet)

Corn starch slurry with water. Follow directions on corn starch package for amounts based on how much liquid the stock yields.

Place all ingredients except wine and corn starch in a large pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for the entire time the roast cooks. Add more hot water as needed to cover. When the roast is resting; drain the stock add wine salt and pepper as needed. Bring to a boil. Thicken with corn starch water mixture whisking as you add slowly. Make sure to keep mixing the corn starch and water so it doesn’t settle.

Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is based on my friend Jon Stiles’s recipe from his cookbook Cooking for Friends Vol. 2. I loved Jon’s recipe and tried it a little different. The ingredients are pretty much the same but the technique is a little different. I add more salt, garlic and pepper to mine but I add them to the cooking water and adjust for flavor after the potatoes are mashed. Jon uses fresh garlic and I used powdered. Jon told me once “don’t get too attached to fresh ingredients, powdered and dried spices are perfectly fine and have their place in the kitchen”.


5 pounds pealed Yukon Gold Potatoes. Do not substitute! Cut into chunks about 1/4 inch thick

Handful kosher salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

3/4 -1 cup whole milk

2 sticks salted butter brought to room temperature and cut up

1 tbsp powdered garlic

Cover potatoes with cold water and add salt, pepper and powdered garlic. bring to a boil. Cook until tender but not mushy. Drain water and transfer to a mixing bowl. add butter and half of the milk. Mix on low speed until ingredients are incorporated then speed up. Taste; add more milk, salt, pepper and garlic as needed.

Carve roast one rib at a time. Plate and side with mashed potatoes and gravy.

I really wish Jon could have tasted this one… It was magnificent!

Baked Ham with Bellevue Bourbon Glaze

Bourbon Glazed Ham

Bourbon Glazed Ham


1 Fully cooked 8-10 pound Ham

1/2 to 3/4 Cup medium quality Bourbon I used 1/2 cup for a thicker glaze

2 Cups brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp ground Mustard

1/2 Tsp ground coriander.

Preheat oven to 300-325

Mix all ingredients in a bowl making sure there are no lumps of sugar.

Make Diamond shaped cuts about 1/2 an in deep across the skin and fat of the ham.

Roast the ham covered for 1 1/2 hours covered.

Remove roast from oven and increase temperature to 350-375

Stir glaze and spoon over entire ham. Do not use all the glaze; reserve half. Return ham to oven uncovered for 30 minutes. If there is no liquid; add a little.

Remove ham and add more glaze and add a little water to bottom of the pan if needed. return to oven for a final 20-30 minutes.

Remove ham from oven and allow to rest covered for 20 minutes.

Pour the remaining juices from the pan over the sliced ham.



Dutch Oven Pot Roast With Vegetables; Recipe

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

Chuck Roast is one of my favorite cuts of beef. I use Chuck Roast in my Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup, Chili, Shredded Beef Tacos, Beef Enchiladas and of course Braised Chuck Roast with Oven Browned Vegetables. There are Two ways I prepare Chuck Roast. The first is in the oven using a roasting pan or Dutch Oven. The Second is on the stove top using a Dutch Oven.


1 3-4 Pound Chuck Roast (Shoulder Blade)022

6-8 Small red potatoes

2 Ribs celery into 3 inch sections

1-2 onions roughly chopped

1 Whole bulb of garlic

4-5 Carrots roughly chopped or a bag of baby carrots

1 Tsp dried thyme

Salt or Goya Adobo


2 Cups beef broth using Miner’s or bouillon cube

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Wrap the whole garlic bulb in foil with a splash of olive oil. Roast garlic for 1 1/2 hours with the roast on the oven rack. Use garlic in the gravy.

Season the Chuck Roast on both sides with salt (Goya Adobo), pepper and dried thyme. Heat Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown Chuck Roast for about 5 minutes on each side.

Dutch Oven Chuck Roast

Add onions first then carrots, celery and beef broth to almost cover. Sprinkle with some thyme, salt and pepper. Cover Dutch Oven and place in oven for 1 hour.

After an hour increase heat to 350 degrees. Add potatoes cover and put back in the oven for another hour.

Remove pot to stove top; cut potatoes in half. Make sure most of the potatoes stay on top and out of the liquid. Add more beef broth or water if needed. Return pot to oven uncovered and cook for one last hour.

Remove vegetables and roast to a large serving dish and cover with lid or foil. Place in the oven while you make the gravy.

For the gravy:

Pour the juices from the Dutch Oven into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Squeeze or mash the garlic into the broth and whisk together. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Thicken with corn starch or a flour and water mixture. Add more beef base or salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: Liquids do not achieve their optimal thickening potential until they are boiling.

Braised Beef Cheeks; Recipe

Braised Beef Cheek

Braised Beef Cheek

When I was buying the beef cheek for this recipe I had no idea it would prove to be one of the best simple dishes I would ever cook. As I was taking the picture above I heard my son son moan and say “Ohhhh Damn!” He was right. Damn! The most tender meat ever and very rich in flavor; truly a delicacy.


2-3 Pounds beef cheek trimmed of fat and tendon004 (2)

3 cups red wine (Amarone or Zinfandel) or 3 cups beef broth

1 pound baby portobello mushrooms

5 -6 small red potatoes

1 medium onion quartered

1 small package peeled baby carrots

2 ribs celery cut in 3 inch pieces

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tsp ground black pepper

5-6 garlic cloves smashed with side of knife

Salt to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

preheat oven to 325 degrees

Heavily coat the beef cheek with black pepper. Heat  your oven safe pan or Dutch Oven over medium high heat. Add olive to coat the pan. Lightly salt the beef cheek and brown on both sides. Add garlic, oregano and basil to cook for 2 minutes letting the garlic saute. Add wine or broth to almost cover scrapping the bottom of the pan to remove the flavorful glaze. Add all the vegetables with the potatoes on top. Place in a 325 degree oven for 3 hours. After 1 1/2 hour remove and turn over the beef cheek. Return to oven and cook for the remaining 1 1/2 hours or until tender. The meat should be very tender.

Braised Beef Cheek in Dutch Oven

Braised Beef Cheek in Dutch Oven

Lechon, Cuban/Puerto Rican Roast Pork; Recipe


This recipe is dedicated to my good friends Rick Garcia who took me to my first Cuban restaurant (Ambassador on Ashland Ave) and Julian “Jumpin Perez who’s family fed me very well and treated me like family.

Growing up in Chicago and having many Cuban and Puerto Rican friends I was fortunate to have been exposed to great Caribbean food. Arroz con pollo, arroz con gondules, pasteles, relleno de papa (papa relleno for Cubans) morcilla, alcapurrias and of course the grand daddy of the them all…. Lechon! I remember driving to  North Ave to Sabor Latino for a hunk of Lechon served in foil and a Coco Rico soda. I have found nothing in Cincinnati like Sabor Latino but thankfully I can do Lechon myself. This recipe is great for holidays and special occasions. The finished Lechon is decadent and not healthy at all but… sometimes we need a little pork fat in our lives  to make us feel good!

I made this for some coworkers and they loved it. Not bad for a White Guy!


1 Pork shoulder 6-8 pounds

2 Medium onions

3 Cups sour orange juice or 2 cups orange juice and 1 cup lime juice

2 Cups olive oil

30 cloves of garlic

2 Tbsp oregano

2-3 Tsp salt

2 1/2 Tsp cracked peppercorns

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Juice the sour oranges through a strainer until you have 3 cups of juice. Combine onions, garlic, oregano salt and pepper in a food processor or large blender. Mix until you achieve a soupy mixture. Pour contents into a bowl and combine with the sour orange juice. In a large skillet or sauce pan heat olive oil to no more than 220-230 degrees. Add your mixture to the hot oil and immediately remove from heat whisking constantly for a couple minutes.

Important Tips: Do not add mixture to oil if it’s hotter than 230 degrees; this could be dangerous causing oil to splatter and burn you severely.

Do not cover roast with hot liquid; let the liquid cool completely or the liquid will sear the outside layer making it hard for the marinade to penetrate.

Prepare the roast by inserting a knife into the roast all over so the liquid can penetrate; 20-30 times. Place the pork shoulder in a large bowl with high sides. Pour cooled liquid over the pork shoulder and cover with lid or foil. The marinade should completely cover the pork Shoulder. Let pork should marinate in the refrigerator over night. The following morning remove the roast from the liquid and let come to room temperature for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees:

Place pork shoulder in a shallow roasting pan fat side up; a disposable foil pan is not a bad idea. Put the Pork shoulder in the oven uncovered and immediately reduce heat to 220 degrees. Cook the pork shoulder until the internal temperature is 200 basting with the reserved marinade every 2 hours. A 6-8 pound shoulder can take up to 9 hours. When the internal temperature has reached 190-200 degrees test for tenderness. We are looking for the pork shoulder to be very tender; easily torn with fork or fingers. Don’t get hung up on cooking time, it’s done when it’s done! Toward the end I like to cut the Shoulder into chunks and raise my heat to 400 for 15-20 minutes to crisp it up. Taste for salt and add more at this point. This dish is supposed to be somewhat salty. Make sure the chunks get to soak up the juices on the bottom of the pan. Serve with cold coconut soda (Coco Rico) or some ice cold beer. Maybe an IPA or Left Hand Sawtooth Ale.

As a side dish try my Black Beans and Rice Recipe

How do you like your Meat? A guide to cooking roasts and poultry to perfection!

Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Over the years I have cooked many roasts and whole poultry. Through trial and error I have learned how to cook my roasts to my liking. There is not really a standard for all types of meat. I like beef, lamb and venison cooked to about 140 degrees, pork tenderloin to 145 degrees and poultry cooked to 165 degrees. These cooking temperatures are my preferences. If you are cooking for people with a preference for medium or well done, serve them the outer portions of the roast.

Cooking Chart for meat Click Here

How do you like your meat cooked; well done, medium, medium rare, rare or bleu? It’s all about what you like. The texture and tenderness of meat is directly affected by the internal temperature and method of cooking. High heat cooks the external layers of meat quickly leaving the internal temperature cooler. Low heat brings the entire temperature of the roast up more evenly and helps to retain the juices of the roast. When we cook with high heat the roasts will expel their juices at a higher rate. I have found that larger roasts cook much better at lower temperatures. The low and slow method does have it’s drawbacks. For instance; a seven pound Prime Rib Roast cooked in a 200 degree oven can take up to 6 hours to bring the temperature of the roast to 140 degrees. Low and slow is an all day event, however, the roast that comes out of the oven is perfectly cooked retaining much of it’s juices. The longer meat is cooked, the tougher it becomes. When meat has reached well done it has become tough and not so tender. Cooking meat past well done will however start to break down connective tissues and collagen leaving the roast tender. Some roasts like beef chuck roast and larger pork roasts do well cooking past well done using the braising method. I love braised chuck roast with carrots and potatoes. Dutch ovens and crock pot’s are great for braising.

Cooked perfectly!

Cooked perfectly!

Poultry is a bit different! I like to cook poultry in a 325-350 degree oven depending on the size of the bird. I start my poultry back side up to cook the legs and thighs evenly with the breast side. About a third to half way of cooking I flip the bird to breast side up. If poultry is cooked past 165 degrees the meat will be quite tough and dry and you better have plenty of awesome gravy to make up for it! Stuffing a bird with dense dressing will lengthen the cooking times making it nearly impossible to cook the stuffing to a safe level without overcooking the breast meat. Stuffing the bird with modest amounts of onion, celery and carrots is okay.

Tip: Don’t get too caught up on cooking times for roasts, rely on a good meat thermometer!

How do we check for temperature?

Red Meat: insert thermometer in the center of the thickest part, away from bone, fat, and gristle.

Poultry: insert thermometer it in the thickest part of the breast away from the bone.

Insert meat thermometer in thickest part of breast.

Insert meat thermometer in thickest part of breast.

When the roast is done it will need to rest a bit depending on the size; I recommend from 15-25 minutes. Resting allows the meat to cool and let the juices retreat back into the fibers of the meat. If we carve a roast too soon; the juice will run out all over your carving board. We want the juices in the meat, not on our counter!


Cooking roasts may be my favorite way to cook. The house smells great with the anticipation of the coming meal while I wait for the moment the roast is done.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about cooking roasts is; ” it’s done when it’s done, you can’t put a time on it”!

Standing Rib Roast

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