This roast pork with crushed grapes is an elegant yet easy and affordable autumn meal of rosemary-seasoned roast pork loin in a black grape and Marsala wine sauce.
I don’t cook roast pork that often—I just didn’t grow up with it, we were a lamb- and chicken-eating family—but when I do, it’s usually with fruit. This is gorgeously autumnal.–Diana Henry
Roast Pork with Crushed Grapes
- Kitchen string
- 1/2 tablespoon flaky sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- Leaves from 3 rosemary sprigs (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 pound deboned pork loin rolled and tied
- 6 garlic cloves very thinly sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound 2 ounces black seedless grapes half destemmed and half in small clusters
- 1 1/2 cups dry Marsala
- Using a mortar and pestle or a resealable plastic bag and a rolling pin, coarsely crush the salt, peppercorns, rosemary leaves, and juniper berries. In a small bowl, combine the crushed ingredients and the oil.
- On a cutting board or work surface, unroll the pork and place it meat side up. Pat it completely dry.
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, make small incisions all over the meat and cram the slivers of garlic into the incisions. Rub the crushed spice mixture evenly over the meat, pushing bits of it into the incisions.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan, cover, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and let the pork rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Roll the pork tightly and firmly, keeping as much of the seasoning inside as you can, and then tie it at intervals with kitchen string.
☞TESTER TIP: You may want to ask for help from a second pair of hands as you tie the rolled pork so you can keep it from unraveling.
- Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Roast in the roasting pan, uncovered, for 25 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (191°C). Add all of the grapes and 1 cup Marsala to the roasting pan. Continue roasting, uncovered, until done, about 1 hour more. The pork is done when the juices run clear if the meat is pierced with a metal skewer and the internal temperature of the meat is at least 145°F (63°C).
- Remove from the oven and place the pork and clusters of grapes on a cutting board or platter. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Place the roasting pan along with the roasting juices and the loose grapes over medium heat on the stovetop, using 2 burners if necessary. Stir in 1/2 cup Marsala. Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, crush the grapes into the juices. Boil until the sauce is slightly syrupy, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Serve the pork with the Marsala sauce and the clusters of roasted grapes.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Lovely roast for autumn dinner. Unusual ingredients but it all works. Roasting times were very accurate and it resulted in a flavorful, tender roast.
I had never used juniper berries (only to make gin) and this is the best time of year for black grapes. The sauce made from the grapes and Marsala wine paired perfectly with the pork roast. I was very pleased with the result and will be making this again.
This is an excellent roast pork with great flavor that makes for a beautiful presentation when sliced and plated. The fruit sauce from the black grapes is an excellent complement to the pork and helps to keep the pork moist and flavorful. It’s truly a perfect autumn dish and would be great for serving at a holiday celebration or for any special dinner gathering.
I made half of the recipe. which served 4. The only negative would be the garlic. I found that the garlic didn’t cook that much and still had a very strong flavor in the finished product. Perhaps the garlic should be roasted a bit before it is inserted in the incisions.
Originally published November 8, 2020