Known as “the other white meat,” pork can be incredibly juicy and flavorful. And if you pair it with sweet or bold flavors, it becomes next level. Here’s how to create vegetable side dishes that truly enhance a pork roast dinner.
Root vegetables have a high starch content that makes them slightly sweet when roasted, complementing pork in the best way possible. Peel and chop some carrots, turnips, parsnips, and rutabagas, and coat them with a bit of oil. Place the veggies in the roasting pan with the pork roast, season with salt and pepper, and cook according to your recipe. Add some minced garlic or shallots and a few sprigs of rosemary for a more complex flavor profile.
Mash, bake, or roast potatoes for a simple side dish. Russet or sweet potatoes are both good options. Steamed or roasted new or fingerling potatoes also work well. Roasting potatoes with the pork lets them soak up some of the fat and flavor. Peel the potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes, season, and place in the bottom of the roasting dish. While baking, stir potatoes occasionally until the roast is done and potatoes are tender.
Sauerkraut made with cabbage makes a surprisingly good accompaniment to pork dishes. The tanginess provides a welcome contrast. Add a side dish of baked apples or applesauce for a little sweetness in the mix, too.
Another dynamic option is sautéed spinach with pieces of apple and cranberries. Or, whip up a spinach salad with orange slices and a citrus dressing.
You can’t go wrong with Brussels sprouts. Wash and season them, then toss them in the roasting pan with the pork.
Onions and pork roast are a tantalizing duo. Prepare some red-onion marmalade or chutney, season and roast some leeks, or caramelize some Vidalia onions. Incorporating fruits or coating the pork in brown sugar or honey can fully round out the flavors with some sweetness.