I think this dish may be a little bit too wintery to post right now, but it was so good I couldn’t resist. Plus, grapes = fruit = summer right?
This is a perfect dish for company or a nice Sunday dinner, and it really isn’t too difficult to prepare. The pork comes out perfectly juicy and the grapes roasted with thyme, rosemary, and shallots lend a wonderful sweet and savory flavor. My boyfriend kept commenting that this dish was restaurant quality! Also, you could easily use the roasted grapes on pork chops or possibly chicken instead.
You’ll want to buy a pork loin (not tenderloin) that weighs around 3 lbs for this recipe. If you can find it, buying Pastured pork makes a huge difference in flavor.
A few years ago when cage free eggs became all the rage I was definitely one of those people who made jokes about it not really making a difference to me whether or not the chickens were happy! Now though, I know it is about a LOT more than happy chickens (though that is important too!). Conventional pigs are often raised in confined areas under terrible conditions, and fed a diet that is nothing like their traditional diets and filled with soy, industry by products, and whatever other scraps the farm has left over. To make matters worse, these animals are often also given large doses of antibiotics to prevent them from getting sick and help them grow faster in such crowded and filthy conditions.
Contrast this with pastured pigs. Pastured pigs get to roam their farms at least semi-freely, which enables them to eat their regular omnivorous diet, because they eat what they find in addition to more appropriate feed from the farm. This leads to healthier pigs (no need for constant antibiotics) who are also getting a higher concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids and micronutrients in their diet, which leads to both tastier and healthier meat for you! Everything an animal eats determines the nutrition in their meat, so the more healthfully they were raised, the more nutritionally beneficial they are.
All of that being said, I know not everyone can afford to buy pastured pork, and it is hard to find in many places, but the closer you can get the better!
Recipe: Pork Loin with Roasted Grapes
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s French Pot Roasted Pork Loin
1 3-lb Pork Loin
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 TBS Garlic Olive Oil
1 TBS of oil
1 Cup of Chicken Broth, divided
2 Shallots ***
1 1/2 Cups of grapes
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 Cup Red Wine
2 TBS Butter
- Preheat oven to 325
- Chop up 2 tsp each of fresh thyme and rosemary
- Butterfly the pork roast. Make a cut in the roast about 1/3 of the way through, then continue cutting until you get about half an inch from the end. Open the flap. From here, cut down until you get to the bottom 1/3 of the roast, and cut lengthwise again, stopping when there is a 1/2 inch left. Here is a good video how-to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz391Urnk30
- Brush 1 TBS of garlic olive oil over the inside of the roast, then brush with dijon mustard and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and half of thyme and rosemary. Flip the pork over and season with the salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary.
- Put the pork roast back together, like folding a letter. Tie together with 4 pieces of cooking twine.
- Heat the Dutch oven you will be roasting the pork in over medium high heat with 1 TBS of high heat safe oil (I used ghee). Sear roast fat side down for about three minutes, then sear the other two sides. Remove roast from pan.
- Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to deglaze pan. Place pork back in the pan with the non-seared side down. At this point, if you have an oven thermometer (which I highly recommend), insert it into the thickest part of the pork roast and set the temperature to 140 degrees. Place the pot on the pan, put in oven and roast until the pork comes to 140 degrees, about 50-90 minutes.
- While pork is in the oven, combine grapes, sliced shallots, olive oil, two sprigs of rosemary and 5 sprigs of thyme on a cookie sheet.
- Remove pork from oven, and place on a cutting board tented with foil to rest.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Roast grapes for 10 minutes until they are bursting.
- Once grapes are done, slice pork and serve.
Optional: you can serve the pork with just the grapes or make a pan sauce. To do so heat the pan with the drippings from the roast over medium heat, sautée 1 clove of garlic until fragrant, and add 1/2 cup of red wine, 1 TBS of red wine vinegar, and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a low boil and reduce by half, about 7-10 minutes. Once reduced, whisk in 2 Tbs of butter and then stir in grapes.
**For low FODMAP, use leek tops instead of shallots to roast with the grapes.