TODAY   |  December 07, 2012

Warm up a winter night with a simple pork roast

Mark Bittman demonstrates how to make an easy dinner that’s full of flavor: roasted pork rubbed with rosemary, garlic, and cayenne pepper served with mushrooms sautéed in wine.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> just ahead here this morning, mark bittman cooks up the ultimate holiday meal, but first this is "today" on nbc.

>>> back now at 8:42 and this morning on "today's kitchen," a winter meal that's full of flavor. mark bittman is here with recipe recipes from his cook book "how to cook everything, the basics. ".

>> we won't be over there for a minute. didn't want anything bad to happen. stuffed mushrooms, my favorite thing. let's start with the pork. let's talk about this. what kind of work you use really makes a difference?

>> well, it koss, and two things to think about here. one is the cut and the other is where's the pork from. let's take the second first. there's a huge difference between factory-raised pork, and you could call them industrialial raised portion and sustainable, naturally raised, local in some cases pork, and the second is better than the first. also more expensive.

>> and is it --

>> it's better in every way really.

>> price matters with pork. also fattier, generally speaking.

>> can be fattier, because commercial industrially raised pork is one of the reasons pork doesn't taste as good as it used to. the sad truth is to some extent with pork, the more you spend, the better you're going to get.

>> the other issue you mentioned is cut. which cut do you use?

>> for something like this you want something close to not my shoulder but something close to the shoulder, so this is a loin cut but the shoulder end of the loin cut as opposed to center cut. just like pork chops , shoulder cut, center cut. want something closer to the shoulder because there's more fat and that actually brings flavor.

>> let's get to it without further adieu. how do we make it?

>> chopped rosemary and chopped garlic, salt, cayenne, pepper and a little bit of sugar. those are obviously very, very strong flavors, so you mix those togeth together. the sugar helps browning a lot.

>> okay.

>> so you rub owl of that on there, and put that in a pan. you throw what's left right back on top.

>> nothing in that pan, no oil or anything like that.

>> put a little bit of wine in the beginning just to keep the bottom from burning. start it at high heat, and as it progresses you lower the heat and add a little bit of wine at a time, at an hour or whatever later, you have this beautiful thing, and can you see the great rub on there, and not overcooked, nicely done.

>> just a little bit pink.

>> a little bit ping is okay, and the wine and the rub and the pork choices have all turned into this beautiful pan juice, and what we do with that is we add a little more wine.

>> my kind of recipe.

>> because this is the best stuff, right, and a little bit more wine and some butter and you just get all of those brown bits off the bottom of the ban, and as the wine gets hot this stuff will dissolve and you get this really beautiful pan juice or gravy kind of thing.

>> like a gravy kind of thing, got it.

>> reduction sauce, and i would make it a little bit thicker. we're not going to have the time for that, but i'd cook it a minute or so until it was a little bit thicker than it is now and then just spoon some of that on top.

>> got about a minute to make my favorite thing, mushrooms. which are you using here?

>> i like a mix of button mushrooms and shiitakes and here they are almost done. you just chop up button mushrooms and shiitakes together, cook them in oil, salt, pepper obviously, and then when they -- and they do cook down a lot. all of their liquid will cook out. again, you have some brown bits on the bottom so can you deglaze this with a little bit of wine also, and as the last minute some garlic and some parsley, and i add them at the last minute so they really keep their flavor and keep their strength and freshness, and -- and then you -- you have that.

>> it looks beautiful.

>> wind up that.

>> real quickly, a beauty shot of sweet potatoes .

>> shredded sweet potatoes , the shredding is the hardest part and now you have a beautiful plate with pork roast with the gravy we made with the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms.

>> and the color of the season, green. well done, mark bittman . have a good weekend.