Seasonal Recipe: Sugar and Spice Rubbed Roast

Seasonal Recipe: Sugar and Spice Rubbed Roast
Pork roast, maple sugar, wild plum vinegar, and spices

It’s root time! Time to dig up starches, like burdock and day lily.

But also time to harvest my favorite root spices: sassafras, wild ginger, and garlic mustard. Combine these with the recently finished maple sugar and a few other wild spices, and you have an amazing, 100% wild, dry rub for slow cooking and roasting.


Wild Plum Vinegar and Maple-Spice Dry Rub

Start with your spices: Sassafras root, dried spicebush berries, dried wild ginger root, dried wild onion, pink peppercorns, prickly ash berries, dried garlic mustard root, sumac fuzz, and dried wild oregano. Remove the bark from the sassafras. Put the bark and the rest of the spices in a spice grinder and grind it into a powder. Then combine the spices with maple sugar in about a 1:1 ratio.

Spice rubbed roast and vinegar in the crock pot.


Soak the roast in a bit of vinegar for about an hour. Then coat it liberally with the spice rub, working some of the spice into the outer layers of the meat. Cover the bottom of your roasting pan or slow cooker with about 1/4 inch of vinegar, put the roast in, and sprinkle more of the spice rub over the top.

Call the family. Time to eat.


To make it extra special, serve your roast on a bed of garlic mustard greens with a bit of fresh wild onion and some speedwell flowers for garnish. Add a side of roasted day lily bulbs, some steamed baby nettles, pine needle-mint tea, and for desert, maple roasted walnuts over ice cream. A meal that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy.



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