Wednesday, December 15, 2010

305 Holiday Bash: Slow-Cooked Pork Cubano

Saturday is our almost-annual 305 Holiday Bash. (We skipped a year when we needed a break. As fast as Christmas rolls around every year, I'm not sure anyone even noticed before it was time for the next one.)

Normally, we have a pretty formal soiree. I get my girl on a couple times a year and like to put on a pretty dress and some heels. When you work at home, there aren't a lot of opportunities for dressing up. Dinky doesn't especially care if I look like Myrna Loy or a bearded Joaquin Phoenix, as long as he gets fed on time.

I have never looked THIS good at our parties.

But this year, I just wasn't feeling it.  So I called it casual this year. And I'm glad I did. Because this is our weather forecast.

This is unfortunate, in that our house is tiny, but we have a lovely backyard with outdoor "rooms" we normally make full use of for parties. We have a patio with a seating area around a little fire pit.

And we have the pavilion with table seating for six.

When you have 50 people who are trying to eat dinner in a 1200 square-foot-house... (144 square feet of which is taken up by the Dinky-containment room) can get a little crowded.

But it's Christmas, and bustle is good!


And I did at least pick a good year to go casual. It's not so much fun to navigate the rain in heels and stockings and ties and good coats.

The menu for the Dressy Party went along with the theme. Beef Stroganof or Beef Tenderloin, Grilled Salmon, and appetizers that were a little on the fussy side.

Dining hall at Cafe 305. Or, Buckingham Palace. Roughly the same.
Nooooot this year!

I'm in the process of cooking one of the main courses now. That's right. Wednesday. I have six hundred pounds of pork roast in the oven, slow cooking in lime juice, orange juice, rum and spices. To say that the house smells awesome is an understatement.

I've made this before many times, and the recipe is on the blog probably more than once, but I thought it would lend itself well to this year's party. It's casual, flavorful, can be made ahead, will serve well in a steamer tray, and most importantly, can be eaten with a fork and no knife. (Because I really don't have seating like the above.)

Today around lunchtime, I mixed up the sauce, sliced two onions, crushed a head of garlic, added six thousand pounds of pork roast, and put it in my Harris Teeter Roaster. (I love their giveaways.)

Then I sealed it all up and put that bad boy in the oven at 300F. Where it will likely stay all night. I'll end up with a tender mess of pork in a delicious citrus-rum sauce that melts in your mouth and goes perfectly with a pot of black beans and some rice.

If you have a slow cooker, you could certainly make it in that, in smaller quantities. Here is the recipe for a more reasonable number of people. It was given to me years ago by one of my best friends, Ronda, and I adapted it from pork tenderloin to a pork roast and vastly increased the cooking time. The product is still in the oven, so you'll have to wait for pictures of it finished.

Stay tuned for more party prep!


Anonymous said...

I usually dress on the casual side for your dress-up gig. Maybe this year I'll flip the coin and go formal? My favorite gig of the year!


Andie Reid said...

What I'm really going for here are the most heinous Christmas sweaters ever.