What To Look For When Buying Bone-In Pork Roast

A fantastic slab of bone-in pork roast is your chance to host a dinner party that will leave your guests raving about your cooking for years to come. Besides being incredibly tasty, this cut is a great way to feed a big group. A whole pork loin, rib bones intact, can fill the plates of up to eight guests. But before we get to that, you'll need to have the core ingredient: a quality rib-bones-in pork loin.

How successfully your roast turns out is directly linked to the quality of the pork cut you choose — in this case, a pork loin. Though buying supermarket pork is fine, we highly recommend getting pasture-raised pork, and also going for meat from a heritage-breed pig, despite it being pricier. Heritage-breed pigs, such as Duroc or Tamworth, that are raised organically on local pastures instead of containment farms, move around and graze freely, living a better life. They also taste much more flavorful, thanks to the marbling in their meat. This is in contrast to regular pork, which tends to taste very bland because it's bred specifically to produce lean carcasses.

Now, onto the cut itself. When selecting your pork loin, make sure to ask the butcher to give you the cuts with the fat and the marbling still on. As we mentioned before, the richness of flavor in the pork comes from its fat. But it's not just about taste: The fat also keeps the meat moist and tender as it cooks.

How to prepare your bone-in pork roast for the best result

Proper preparation is key to achieving a succulent and flavorful bone-in pork roast. Plan ahead and buy the loin about a day or two before serving. This will give you time to pre-season the pork loin, which will greatly enhance its taste and tenderness.

After bringing the bone-in pork loin back from the butcher, season it with a dry brine using a blend of salt and pepper. Rub this mixture generously over the pork roast's surface. Over the couple of days that it's staying in your fridge, the seasoning will penetrate the meat, enhancing its flavor throughout.

One final tip: Once you're ready to cook, place the seasoned pork directly over a bed of white mirepoix in your roasting pan, instead of using a traditional roasting rack. This involves using a selection of vegetables, such as onions, leeks, and celery. You could also add parsnips, potatoes, and mushrooms. As the roast cooks, the delectable pork fat will mingle with the vegetables — this is why you should make sure you buy an untrimmed loin. The fat-drenched veggies will make for a flavorful accompaniment to the main dish.