Hog Roasts are not just for summer. Winter is an excellent time of year to host a hog roast. Imagine the cold air and snow flying while your pork is roasting outside. The warmth and aroma are intoxicating.
Pork is the perfect protein for a cold winter night. Try to envision the moist meat and crispy skin of a roasted pig. But it doesn’t end there. You can make some really hearty pork dishes to feed a crowd that don’t involve roasting an entire hog. Let’s explore some great pork dishes for cold winter nights.
Goulash is traditionally made with beef. Take that up another level with flavourful pork. A Dutch oven filled with pork simmering in smoked paprika is a comfort food crowd pleaser in the winter. This is great served over egg noodles.
Pork loin or belly is browned and then simmered with onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, and garlic in meat stock and tomatoes. Paprika is the key spice in goulash that also gives it that deep pink colour.
Once the pork is extremely tender, thicken the sauce with corn starch, Serve this over cooked egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream on top. Pickled vegetables, such as sauerkraut or beets complement this dish.
Crispy Pork Belly
Pork belly is that delicious, fatty portion of the hog that bacon is made from. This cut of pork is not just perfect for bacon and should not be overlooked as a slow roasted main protein. As the pork belly cooks, the fat cap melts into the flesh. This results in a super juicy cut with a crispy layer of fat on top.
There is no need to over think pork belly. It can be seasoned with a dry rub or it can be brined. The trick is to cook it low and slow so that it is really tender. The flavor is rich and is goes well with butternut squash puree and sautéed greens.
The best pulled pork most often comes from a slow roasted shoulder or picnic roast of the hog. It can be spit roasted or smoked until it is tender enough to pull apart with 2 forks.
Pulled pork is fabulous for a family meal when it is cold and damp outside. Kids love pulled pork. It is best served with a rich bbq sauce on a soft bun. Add cabbage slaw to that sandwich and you have a complete meal that you can eat with your hands.
Pork Leg Roast
A roasted pork leg, also referred to as the butt roast, is the part of the hog that is best known as the ham. We are not talking about the cured, pink colored, salty and sweet spiral ham. The leg roast is commonly known as a bone-in fresh ham. Unlike the pink variety, this is extremely rich in pork flavour and has a crunchy outer layer of skin and fat. The bone and fat impart moisture and collagen into the meat.
This cut is often sliced table side. It is served with mashed root vegetables, such as swede or potatoes. Other accompaniments include apple puree, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and steamed green beans.
Why go for pork during the winter?
These mouth-watering hog roast meal ideas scream warmth on a cold winter night. All parts of the hog can be roasted or smoked outside while you and your family and guests are inside enjoying the fire and a few pints. A hog roast is a great plan for the hectic holidays.