Why do I follow recipes?

It so often turns out badly for me. For example, I am making a pork loin roast with garlic and au gratin potatoes. I checked the website for Pork, and it said a loin roast the thickness I was preparing should be cooked 20 minutes per pound. That seemed a little low to me, so I upped it to 25 minutes per pound. The roast is only 1 and a quarter pounds, and it's been in the oven now for 45 minutes, and it's nowhere near done.

Also, the au gratin recipe I was using called for 2 lbs of potatoes. I used slightly more than that, about half of a 5 lb bag. The recipe also called for 1 cup of cream and 1.5 cups of milk. Now I've got potato and milk soup with cheese on top.

I really should just go with my gut. I almost used less milk and cream, but I didn't. I almost put the roast in even earlier, but I didn't. It's not a disaster, but it's not the beautiful dinner I had invisioned, either.


Brave Sir Robin said...

Unless I'm baking, I almost never use the recipe, it's more of a guide.

Was your roast at room temp before it went in the oven? That would make a huge difference.

The Minstrel Boy said...

for the roasts use a meat thermometer, always. it's the only real guide.

the fooler in the potato recipe was probably the cream. a good quality cream will thicken dramatically under heat. i will go digging in my recipe boxes for gran's au gratin spuds. as i remember it was epic.

maurinsky said...

The roast wasn't at room temp, it sat out for about 40 minutes before it went in the oven. It took an hour to cook all the way through (according to the meat thermometer)

The au gratin tasted fine, the sauce was just too liquid. I used heavy cream, but maybe the milk was the culprit, because it was skim, which I don't usually have in the house.

I have another recipe for au gratin that is divine, but the prep takes forever. This one prepped a lot faster, so I just need to find a middle ground between the two.

I really tried to use the recipe this time solely for cooking times, since the au gratin had to cook longer than the roast. I'm atrocious at getting multiple dishes ready at the same time (or close to the same time).

Epic au gratin sounds awesome, I'll be interested in seeing that recipe.