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Weekend Recipe: Grilled Bone-In Pork Roast with Orange Salsa

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What's all the fuss with bone-in pork? Well the America's Test Kitchen lab tested it out and found that "flavor from the bone can migrate into the meat." The test kitchen also suggests serving the roast with Cuban-style beans and rice with the orange salsa.

Grilled Bone-In Pork Roast with Orange Salsa
Serves 6 to 8

If you buy a blade-end roast (sometimes called a "rib-end"), tie it into a uniform shape with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals; this step is unnecessary with a center-cut roast. For easier carving, ask the butcher to remove the tip of the chine bone and to cut the remainder of the chine bone between the ribs.

Pork
1 (4- to 5-pound) center-cut rib or blade-end bone-in pork roast, tip of chine bone removed
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups soaked wood chips, or 1 (3-inch) wood chunk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 recipe Orange Salsa with Cuban Flavors, optional

Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated
Photo courtesy of Cook's Illustrated

Orange Salsa with Cuban Flavors
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, plus 5 oranges, peeled and segmented; each segment quartered crosswise
1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salsa: Combine all ingredients in small nonreactive bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the pork roast: Pat roast dry with paper towels. If necessary, trim thick spots of surface fat layer to about ¼-inch thickness. Using sharp knife, cut slits in surface fat layer, spaced 1 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into meat. Sprinkle roast evenly with salt. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 24 hours.

For a charcoal grill: One to 2 hours before grilling, submerge wood chips in bowl of water to soak. Light large chimney starter filled with charcoal (6 quarts, about 100 briquettes). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour coals into grill and cover one-third of grill. Place wood chunk on top of coals, set cooking grate in place, cover, and heat until grate is hot and wood is smoking, about 5 minutes.

For a gas grill: Place soaked chips in 9-inch disposable aluminum pie plate and set on primary burner of grill (burner that will stay on during grilling). Set cooking grate in place. Turn all burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-high and turn off other burner(s).

Place soaked chips in 9-inch disposable aluminum pie plate and set on primary burner of grill (burner that will stay on during grilling). Position cooking grates over burners. Turn all burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium-high and turn off other burner(s). Scrape grate clean with grill brush.

Sprinkle roast evenly with pepper. Place roast on grate with meat near, but not over, primary burner and bones facing away from heat. Open top vents halfway and cover grill, positioning vents over meat. (Initial grill temperature should be about 425 degrees.) Grill roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 140 degrees, 1¼ to 1½ hours.

Transfer roast to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes (internal temperature should rise to about 150 degrees). Carve into thick slices by cutting between ribs. Serve, passing salsa separately (if using).

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