Nothing says DINNER! like taking a roast out of the oven and ceremoniously presenting it to a group of admiring and hungry people. But when the school year begins (ok, heck anytime of year!) and the schedule is overwhelmed with homework and projects and sports practices and Scouts and music lessons, we might be tempted to just detour to the closest drive-thru.
Not today! I have two EASY recipes for rubs that will save you a ton of time and make your family will think you are absolutely AMAZING! (Which you already are. . .but sometimes it is okay to remind them just how amazing!)
This weekend I started getting some things in the kitchen ready for the school year. Besides buying school supplies and new shoes. . .I think a family should consider getting their kitchen ready for the onslaught of afternoon/evening homework, sports practices, projects and Scouts. One of the things I like to have is a few pork roasts in the freezer that I can take out in the morning to defrost and pop them in the oven about one hour before dinner.
We buy the very long pork loins at Costco and cut them into thirds. Each third is about a meal (with some excellent leftovers for sandwiches the next day) for our family of seven.
Then I season each section with a dry rub. I have two favorite rub that I want to share with you today: Magic Mushroom Rub from Nom Nom Paleo and the Dry Rub from Daisy Martinez’s book, Daisy Cooks.
After the rub, I put each section of pork loin into a freezer bag with the date (because things have a way of being pushed to the back of my freezer and I have NO IDEA when I made the item). My mom suggests tying them with some twine because there are two pork loins in the Costco package. You can also stuff the pork loins–but that’ll be another post.
Then, the morning that I want to serve it, I just take it out of the freezer to defrost (keeping it in the sealed bag) and about an hour before dinner time I bake the roast on 400 degrees until the meat reaches 140 degrees (usually an hour is all it takes for my sections). Here is the roast with the Magic Mushroom Rub ready to go into the oven.
Fix a side salad and/or use those other oven racks to roast some cauliflower and you have a quick, delicious, and basically effort-free meal. Now, a quick note for those people who do not like mushrooms (which would include about ¼ of my family): it doesn’t taste like mushrooms NOT AT ALL. As a matter of fact, mushrooms are a natural source of glutamate–as in the “G” of MSG–and are a natural flavor enhancer.
This pork roast would be great for any holiday dinner in the next few months, too!
Here is a link to the Magic Mushroom Rub. It calls for dried porcini mushrooms but all I had was dried shitake mushrooms that I bought in bulk from Costco (years ago but never used). The recipe was still delicious! Make a large batch and keep it in an air tight container in the pantry.
I also used this rub on chicken drumettes (cute name for little drumsticks) and you would have thought that my family was going to burst out in song when I fixed it last Friday. I’ll do that recipe later because there was nary a drumette left to take a photo.
The Dry Rub from Daisy Cooks! has been my go to rub for at least eight years and it is always a winner!
- 6 tablespoons salt (I use kosher salt but see my note at the bottom)*
- 3 tablespoons onion powder
- 3 tablespoons garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons black pepper
- 11/2 teaspoons ground oregano (I usually add 2 tablespoons of oregano flakes)
- (You can also customize this rub by adding ground cumin, lemon pepper, achiote power.)
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Sore at room temperature in an airtight container.
Kosher salt: I use kosher salt because the flakes are larger and more uneven than the crystals of table salt. Why would this matter? Kosher salts are bigger and for rubs tend to be easier to handle and to basically "rub" on the meat. Keep in mind, though, that you can't interchange salts in exact amounts. And, some kosher salts are. . .well, saltier than others. For this recipe, using Morton Kosher Salt I use about 5 tablespoons of kosher salt.
Since we are talking about rubs and most rubs use salt, I wanted to include a link to a very informative article on the difference between table salt, sea salt and kosher salt.