Cooking: Pork Roast v. Beef Roast

Am I mistaken, or is it true that beef pot roast seems to get better and better the longer you cook and baste it (within reason), but a pork roast quickly dries out and is ruined? If true, why is this so?

Also this: I flavor my roasts with kosher salt, peppercorn, ground papper, onion, and a hint of dried (sorry) thyme flakes. Can you suggest any other variations? Will red wine help?

P.S. My thanks to Zenster and Ukelele Ike for teaching me not to overcook pork. A little pink really does make for a much better dish. For years, I’ve been cooking mine to 165-170 degrees.

Red wine helps everything ;). Seriously, I usually use some wine when making pot roast - go ahead and try it. You recipe sounds pretty good though, unless you use something vile as the liquid.

In a word, fat. Desipte the ‘greasy pork’ reputation, it has less fat within the meat itself – it’s mostly on the outside. Amost any beef you’re going to roast is well marbleized and the fat distributed within keeps it from drying out. Lamb and, to a lesser extent, veal have the same problem: Over roast it and you might as well give it to the dog.


I think that it is a universal law that you have to have sage included in any pork recipe.

When you say “pot roast” I envision cooking, covered, in liquid, so its hard for me to understand how a meat can get dry in that circumstance. Yes, you can cook it till it falls apart but I can’t see how it could get dry. From your description though, it sounds like you are “dry roasting,” in which case yes yes yes you CAN overcook roast beef. It should be pink too!

Roast Pork shoulder:
olive oil, rosemary, oregano, beer, salt & pepper, onion& green pepper (pureed), and as much garlic as you can get your hands on, in the oven at 350.

After you’ve cut the skin off, cook it covered, turning once, until if falls off the bone.

I’m not real good with the roast beef, I think they should ‘moo’, my husbands family wants them well done. Hence, I’ve got no practice at it.

I’ve had some success cooking pork roasts in my crockpot. It’s tender, moist, and very flavorful. Before that, my pork was dry and tasteless.

I just rubbed a brisket with paprika, black pepper, kosher salt, New Mexican chile powder, sugar, and onion and garlic powder.

Tomorrow night I’m going to cook it over a slow fire with lots of damp, smoky hickory for two to three hours.

I’m very excited, because I’ve never done a Texas-style BBQ before. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What I’ve learned from SD’s cooking pros (Zenster, Ike, etc.) is that it is desirable for pork dishes to have a trace of pink present. A lot of older cookbooks suggest cooking pork to, IIRC, about 170-175, which almost guarantees a leathery outcome. Apparently, trichynosis is exceptionally rare, to the point of being almost unheard of, in the US.

Someone asked if I add water to my Dutch oven. Yes, about 3/4 inch or so.

I’m still not sure whether to add sage, thyme or marjoram.

Give yourself some comfort room: brine the meat overnight, then cook as usual. Brines can impart the flavor deep into the core of the meat in a way that no basting can. Best turkey I ever made brined for two days. I was able to get all the parts cooked without drying out any (a miracle in my small oven).

Whew! For a while, I thought I was the only one who knew this Universal Truth.

(Great thread, by the way.)