In a few days Christmas, will be here. In Denmark we celebrate Christmas Eve as the most special day. Many people decorate their tree in the afternoon on the 24th of December while the roast is in the oven. The guests arrive around 5 o’clock, earlier if there are small children. The table is set and dinner is served before the opening of the presents. After the dinner of roast duck or pork roast, sugar glazed potatoes and red cabbage, the dessert is served. Danish Christmas Pudding is the choice of most Danes because of the tradition of fighting over the almond gift.. I wrote about this pudding last week. If you are interested, just scroll down the page. By now the children are very impatience and are ready to open their presents. But first, we must all dance around the Christmas tree. We don’t ready dance around the tree. We all join hands and walk slowly around the tree, singing Christmas carols. Some times the party gets a little crazy and the people in the Christmas party, adults and children, run around the house singing and laughing. When this is done, it is finally time for opening the presents. Here is one of the most tradional Christmas menu in Denmark.
Pork Roast with Cracking serves 6 In Denmark this dish is usually roasted with the rind on
3 lb. boned pork loin with the rind, 1½ tbsp. salt, 2-3 bay leaves, 1-1½ pints water, depending on the size of the pan
Gravy: 2 cups broth and pan juices, ½ cup heavy cream, flour for thickening, gravy browning or caramel color (soja sauce can also be used) pepper, be careful with salt because the roast is made with salt
Ask your butcher to make parallel slits in the rind, without cutting into the meat itself. Rub the rind thoroughly with salt,(you may have to use more salt, but be careful, it will make the gravy to salty) making sure the salt gets down into the slits in the rind. Place the bay leaves in the slits. Put the roast on a rack in a baking pan. The roast should be as level as possible. Use foil, if necessary, to prop up the roast. Pour water into the pan making sure the water does not touch the pork. Place the pan with the roast into a cold oven and turn on the oven to 400° F. After 1½ hours the roast should have a temperature of 150° F. Pour the pan juices off and save them for the gravy. If the rind is not sufficiently crisp, brown the roast, either by using the grill or by turning the heat up to 450°F.
Let the uncovered roast rest in a warm place 20 minutes. The internal temperture should read 160.
Gravy: Skim off the fat from the pan juices and strain the juices. Pour into a saucepan and dilute with bouillon or stock, making 1 1/4 pints in all. Add cream and bring to a boil. Thicken with flour and season with pepper, maybe a little salt if the pan juices were not saltly. If you want the gravy to be a darker color, add eith caramel color or soja sauce.
Slice the roast and serve with sugar glazed potatoes and red cabbage salad.
Glazed Sugar Potatoes serves 6
1½ lbs. small potatoes, boiled and peeled, 3 oz. sugar, 2 oz. butter
Melt the sugar on a frying pan until golden. Add the butter. Glaze and brown the potatoes in the caramelized sugar, turning constantly.