Roast Leg of Pork
This recipe is incredible. It takes some time, but it is worth the effort. Do it!!
1.5 liters Coca-cola
1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
5 bay leaves
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 Tbsp whole peppercorns
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
4 Tbsp fresh flat parsley
10 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cloves
A day ahead, score the leg of pork about 1/2 inch deep to make a diamond pattern on the top half. In a stockpot, mix the brine ingredients well, place the roast, top side down, in the brine. Refrigerate overnight.
On roasting day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Chop the herbs very fine, mix the herbs with the garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a paste. Rub the paste generously over the leg of pork. Place the roast scored side up on a rack in the middle of the oven. After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees, open the oven for 20 seconds to bleed off some of the heat, and then continue to roast, testing with a thermometer until it reaches 145 degrees in the middle. It could be anywhere from four to twenty pounds. It should take at least an hour and a half, and as many as four hours, depending on the size.
While the the roast is in the oven at the high temperature, mix the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat slowly until the sugar dissolves, then simmer until it’s time to turn down the oven. After the oven has reached 325, brush glaze on the roast every hour until it’s done.
When the roast reaches the desired 145 internal temperature, remove from the oven, cover with foil, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook under the tent, and the juices will retreat back into the meat.
Serve with fresh swiss chard sauteed in good olive oil with garlic and toasted pine nuts.