An easy to prepare recipe for Pork roast served over Ratatouille. This recipe ticks off all of the boxes – it’s delicious comfort food, it uses an inexpensive cut of meat, and it doesn’t need a lot of attention to make! What could be better?
Don’t worry – there’s a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Pork Butt Roast
Pork butt is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that suits being roasted or braised and then stewed or slow cooked. It is marbled with a little fat that keeps the meat moist and tender but cooks down when roasted at a slow and low temperature. Pork butt is also delicious when prepared in a smoker or in a pulled pork recipe.
The term pork butt doesn’t really sound all that appealing – but it is actually not from the “behind”, it is a cut of meat from above the shoulder. Sometimes the butt roast is called a shoulder cut – just to confuse things – “but” it is slightly different! The butt is generally a rectangular cut, while the shoulder cut tends to be a little longer and angled.
This recipe is based upon Jacques Pepin’s Pork Shoulder and Ratatouille. We are superfans of Jacques Pepin – as he makes dishes that are delicious but quick to prepare!
We bake our pork roast in a dutch oven together with a ratatouille. Ratatouille is a French Provencal vegetable stew. A traditional ratatouille recipe would include eggplant, tomato, summer squash or zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic and herbs de provence. As it’s meant to be an informal family meal, it’s best to use whatever vegetables inspire you that have available!
The other day we made this as our youngest adult son was arriving home. We asked him if he’d ever tried ratatouille. He said yes – while at university, his household had prepared the dish while watching the movie “Ratatouille”, of course.
We’ve always worried that our kids living away from home were more apt to watch the movie “Animal House”, and emulate that behaviour. We never expected them to be watching Disney animated movies and making recipes……
Ratatouille the Movie
Ratatouille was a 2007 Disney Pixar movie about a rat named Remy, who dreamed of being a chef and moved to Paris. The dish prepared by Remy is similar to a ratatouille – but it is actually a tian or possibly a confit byaldi.
Both ratatouille and tian use similar vegetables – summer squash, eggplant and tomato – but a tian is an arrangement of thinly sliced vegetables in an earthenware dish or casserole dish – while the ratatouille is a stew made from vegetables which have been cubed and sauteed in olive oil to keep their firm texture.
The dish prepared by Remy has also been called a confit byaldi. Cuisine minceur – which became popular in the late 1970s, involved reducing fat and creating lighter versions of traditional French dishes. Chef Michel Guerard modified ratatouille by thinly slicing the vegetables, substituting mushrooms for peppers and not frying the vegetables.
Being a simple family cook myself – I enjoy the roughly cut but not sauteed vegetable version of the dish – so ratatouille it is for me instead of tian or confit byaldi!
Preparing the Roast
We began with a boneless pork butt roast – about 4 to 5 pounds. The roasts are sometimes sold with the bone in – but ours was boneless and had been halved. We trimmed some of the fat from the outside of the roast.
The roast was seasoned with salt and pepper all over. Two large cloves of garlic were sliced into about 6 pieces. Some small slices were made into the roast, and slices of garlic were inserted in the meat.
In a large dutch oven, the pork roast was braised all around without any extra oil or fat – for about 15 minutes at medium heat, – until the outside was nicely browned, leaving the dish partly covered with the lid.
Preparing the Ratatouille
For our version of ratatouille, we roughly cut two Asian eggplants, two large carrots, two medium zucchini, one white onion and one tomato. We also chopped three cloves of garlic. You could also add cremini or white mushrooms, peppers or yellow summer squash.
Unlike a traditional ratatouille – we didn’t pre-fry our vegetable stew. We just placed the vegetables in the dutch oven on top of and around the roast pork. The is no need to add any water to the dish – as the vegetables will provide the moisture when they slowly cook. A few sprigs of rosemary and thyme added some flavour.
We turned the oven to 275 degrees F and cooked the roast and vegetables for about 2 hours – covered.
After two hours – we removed the dish from the oven – and removed the roast.
We placed the vegetables in a serving dish – and sliced the pork roast – placing the pork on top of the ratatouille – to serve – family style.
This comforting family friendly dish – was easy to prepare – about 15 minutes of preparation, 15 minutes of browning and then two hours of roasting.
Below is a printable recipe card from RecipesGenerator. Please give it a try!
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