My mother’s side of the family is Latvian and we invited Auntie Laima to come over for a pork roast dinner. She was going to bring dessert and sauerkraut and I was going to make the rest.
Mom told me to season the two pork shoulders liberally with onion and garlic salt before I came over. They absorbed the seasoning for about an hour. Then I put them in a large roasting pan at 325F for around two hours. We wanted to cook it low and slow.
Normally Grandma would cover the roasts with the sauerkraut so I was a little worried it was going to dry out. I added a little water on the bottom and hoped for the best.
Still worried about them drying out, Mom had the idea to tilt them on their sides so the rind would self-baste the roasts.
For our vegetable, I chopped up some potatoes, put them in a large pan and added butter, plus garlic and onion salt. I stirred until they were coasted and then added them to the roasting pan.
I was starting to worry that the food would not be done in time, especially since I think my mom’s oven is a little cooler than mine, so I turned up the heat to 350F and hoped for the best. Two hours later…
Auntie Laima came over with her amazing sauerkraut with smoked meat (yum!) which I heated on the stove. When we told her how we were cooking dinner, she asked if we were cooking the roasts with the lid on.
Oh dear! Apparently that was not good so I went and added the lid for the last hour.
Everything turned out beautifully and delicious! The meat fell apart, the potatoes were nice and golden and everything came together with the stunning homemade sauerkraut. I must get that recipe next!
Auntie Laima had also brought La Rocca’s Original Caramel Crunch Cake for dessert. I could not have been more thrilled and excited because it was so similar to the traditional Latvian hazelnut torte that we all absolutely love. It was as Latvian a dessert as you can find at a bakery!
What a joy to cook for family and loved ones! My mom could not have been happier with the dinner and it looks like our “special” way of making pork roast was a winner because the meat was so tender and delicious.
Nothing like pure Latvian peasant food followed by a gourmet dessert! That, for me, tastes like home.