Originally featured as our Recipe of the Month for December, 2009, this amazing holiday recipe from one of our culinary vacations in Bordeaux is perfect for a special occasion such as Christmas dinner, or for any cold weather month. Let us know if you would like to enjoy this and other recipes in their natural setting on a cooking vacation in France, complete with trips to local markets, wine tastings and more!
Check out our Best of Bordeaux cooking & wine tour.
Honey-Roasted Pork with Chestnut Confit
Prep time: 20 minutes (plus 1 day)
Cook time: 120 minutes
Cook method: Roast
- 3-4 lb* loin of pork, on the bone if possible
- 3 cloves of garlic, cut into slivers
- 12 sage leaves
- fresh salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 generous sprigs of thyme
- 2 medium sized onions
- bouquet garni
- 1 large carrot, sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of honey
For chestnut confit
- 2 lbs. chestnuts
- 4 oz baby white onions, peeled and chopped
- 8 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 4 oz butter
- 2 oz good-quality smoked bacon, chopped
- 3 cups of chicken or duck stock
- 3 oz fresh shelled walnuts
- salt an pepper
*Leftovers are not a problem…the pork is also great cold!
1. The night before: Insert slivers of garlic all over the joint. Roll the sage leaves in the palm of your hand and then season them with salt and pepper. With the point of the knife make tiny slits in the pork and insert the leaves. Rub the roast with salt and thyme, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. The flavors will enhance overnight.
2. To prepare the roast: Preheat over to 400°F (200°C). Take the roast out of the fridge about a half an hour before cooking. Wipe it with a paper towel.
3. Heat the oil in a casserole dish over medium heat. When the oil is hot place the pork in the casserole pot and allow to brown, turning from time to time.
4. Add the onions, carrots and the bouquet garni and cook for 3-4 minutes. Cover the casserole pot, place in the oven, and let meat roast for about one and a half hours, turning it often.
5. Take the meat out of the pot, season with salt and pepper and set aside. Turn the oven up to 475°F (240°C)
6. Deglaze the pot with a cup of water or light chicken stock and boil gently for 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Baste the roast with the honey and vinegar and put back in the hot oven, uncovered, for 12-16 minutes, until it has a nice caramelized color. Pass the reduced deglazed jus through a sieve for serving.
7. Remove the meat and let it rest for 15 mins before carving. Serve with chestnut confit (recipe follows).
Preparation of chestnut confit
8. To prepare the chestnut confit, first roast and peel the chestnuts.
9. Heat the butter in deep sautee pan and add the onions, shallots and bacon. After they are lightly colored but not browned, add the stock. Cook over low heat, reducing the liquid slowly, for about 25 minutes.
10. Add the chestnuts and then the walnuts and cook for a few more minutes, or until they are heated through. Serve with the roast pork and perhaps Brussel sprouts or roasted or mashed potatoes.
Finish off the meal with a classic French dessert: tarte au citron!
By Peg Kern
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