The story behind the pork roast.
Mom Slabach made a mean pork roast. It’s been 30 years since Mom went to Heaven, but Shelley still makes this pork roast.
One day many years ago, Mom served this to Shelley and her family. Her son Joseph (6 or 7 years old) loved this so much he asked his mom to make it for him. Shelley got the directions from Mom and has been making it ever since. This summer I asked Shelly how she makes Mom’s roast, and she gladly shared what Mom told her.
“Just like Dave’s mom, I always serve mine with mashed potatoes, corn, and green beans,” she emailed. “This was Joseph’s favorite meal! He even wrote a paper about it in his English class.”
I found a pork roast on sale the other day and snapped it up. ‘Brought it home and fixed it just the way Mom used to do. It was a large roast and larger than we need. I do what I always do: fix it and put the rest in the freezer for a later meal or two.
Memories and aroma
It was a bittersweet day, because as the aroma wafted through my kitchen, I remembered mom and Shelley’s Joseph, who has been in Heaven for twenty years. (You can read about Shelley’s journey in her book Grief: A Mama’s Unwanted journey. Click here for more information about her grief journey and her book.)
The pork roast turned out perfect. Dave said he was too tired to eat. Yet he finished off a nice amount for a man too tired to eat. I served it with mashed potatoes and gravy, some peas and home-canned, unsweetened applesauce.
You don’t need a lot for this recipe. It’s so easy and simple. Patience is the key. Turn your oven to 325. Cover the roaster and bake until it is done. You can baste it from time to time to keep it moist, but a tight cover will help do the job as well. I also made the gravy the way Shelley told me mom did it – and it turned out just right.
This 8-pound roast took 6 hours, but a smaller one will take less time. You can gauge how long it will take by the size of your roast, but you’ll need to plan for at least 3-4 hours. I did not put any salt on the roast because pork is salty; I did add some pepper. You can season it any way you like.
You want the meat to be so tender that it falls off the bone. When I put the fork in here, the meat slid away from the bone. In the middle photo below, the roast looks done, but if you look closely, you can tell it’s not tender – yet. This was half-way through the 6 hours in the oven. You do not want to have to pull the meat away from the bone. That is when you know the roast is done.
Oven Pork Roast
- 1 roaster or pan with lid
- Turn oven to 325 degrees
- Rinse pork roast and place in roaster
- Season as desired (optional)
- Pour two cups water over roast
- Cover and place in pre-heated oven
- Optional: base with liquid broth half-way through baking
- Check for tenderness. When meat falls off the bone, it is done.
- Remove from the oven and serve.