This week, I stumbled onto a beef-and-potato video from Hobbs House Bakery that I had to try. Weird thing – and I swear this is true – I found this video during the week, and that Friday, a friend who was coming to visit for the weekend coincidentally showed up with a beautiful pork roast in hand! (You know you are a died-in-the-wool foodie when friends show up with excellent cuts of meat.) We figured pork would be a fantastic swap-out for the beef in the Hobbs House recipe. So, off to the store we went for potatoes, and it was on: BBQ Pork Roast & Baker Potatoes.
In their video (which I’ve embedded at the bottom of this post), Tom and Henry Herbert barbecue a lean beef roast and bake a gratin underneath it, so that the beef juices drip into the gratin. Their gratin doesn’t include cream or cheese, which makes room for the beef juices.
Our pork version went wonderfully. The pork fit perfectly into this recipe. It was tender and juicy, and the potatoes were heavenly. I can’t wait to make this dish again, perhaps with beef next time.
What you need to serve a crowd of 12:
5 lbs yellow potatoes
1-2 med. white or yellow onions
1 large clove garlic
Disposable roasting pan
2 Tbs butter
3 cups chicken stock
4.5 lbs pork roast, preferably at room temperature
How to do it:
Start by lighting the charcoal in your grill. Once you’ve got that started, heat the chicken stock. Meanwhile, thinly slice the potatoes (to perhaps a 16th-inch thickness – a mandoline is perfect for this). Slice the onions in the same way. Set aside.
Slice the garlic lengthwise and salt the cut sides. Rub the cut sides all over the bottom of the roasting pan. Discard the sliced clove, or, if you really love garlic, mince it and include it the layering, later on. Lay in some of the potato slices to create an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Scatter some onion on top. Sprinkle a modest amount of herbs (to taste) over the layer, and season the layer moderately with salt and pepper (to taste). Continue to layer in the ingredients until you’ve used all the potatoes. Dot with butter. Pour stock over the entire thing.
Season the pork generously with salt and pepper.
Once your coals are red-hot and ash-covered, push the coals into two even layers, one on the left and one on the right. Leave enough room between them for the roasting pan, which you want to place dead center. Take care when moving the roasting pan to the grill, because disposable pans are notoriously flimsy. Use very good oven mitts (or oven gloves) that will protect both sides of your hands. Place the roasting pan into the grill, and replace the grates. Insert a temperature probe into the roast and place the roast on the grate, directly over the roasting pan. Close the grill lid and set a timer for 20 minutes.
Check the grill every 20 minutes. If the temperature has fallen below 300°F, add a handful of charcoal pieces to each side of the grill. Do this quickly, to minimize the amount of time the grill lid is open. Expect it to take about 1.5 hours for the roast to come to temperature.
Remove the finished roast from the grill and let it rest, tented with foil, for at least 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes, too – but they don’t need tenting. You’ll find that the potatoes’ texture varies, with crunchy bits on the top, and luxurious, melt-in-your-mouth bits at the bottom, so dig your spoon deep when serving. Cranberry or applesauce make good accompaniments for the pork.
- Of course you can do this in any type of grill. I prefer a charcoal grill. When you consider the charcoal that you initially load into the grill as well as the charcoal that you add as the cooking progresses, all in all you can expect to go through about 8 lbs of it.
- Taste your chicken stock to see how salty it is. The saltier it is, the less salt you should use to season the potatoes.
- Choose a roasting pan that will fit into your grill. This sounds obvious, but you don’t want to realize at the last minute that it won’t fit, or find yourself trying to figure it out while the grill is searing hot. I recommend a disposable pan, because a grill will likely ruin many of the pans you use in your oven. However, in a pinch, if you have a sheet cake pan that you don’t love, you can completely encase it – inside and out – with heavy-duty foil. I’ve done this, and the pan survived quite well.
- The pan I used was 13 1/2 x 9 5/8 x 2 3/4. It called itself a “giant lasagna pan,” and it seemed to boast, judging from its packaging, that it could manage two lasagnas stacked on top of one another. Is that a thing? In any case, to accommodate five lbs of potatoes, you’ll need a pan with similar volume, though you could get by with something just a tad smaller.
- The best way to transport the pan is to lift it off the countertop and place it on a large baking sheet, walk it to the grill, set it down next to the grill, and then transfer the pan into the grill. Reverse on the way out.
- I cook pork roast to 150°F, but use your own judgement.
Here’s the Hobbs House video. It’s fantastic in every way. I converted it to US measurements, swapped out pork for the beef, and elaborated on the instructions.
BBQ Pork Roast & Baker Potatoes
Credit for images on this page: Make It Like a Man! Credit for video: Hobbs House Bakery. This content was not solicited, nor written in exchange for anything.
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