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Pork loin roast with chestnuts

Pork loin roast with chestnuts
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

December is a month for feasting -- which is not necessarily to say gorging, though it sometimes seems like it. Eating well is not the same thing as stuffing yourself and eating sensibly is not the same as being dull. ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 45 minutes | Serves 8


  • 1 (8-rib) bone-in pork loin, bones frenched (about 4 pounds)
  • 16 dried apricots
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 cut into slivers, 1 minced, divided
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon water, divided
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons ruby port
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Step 1Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Wrap each of the bone ends with foil.

Step 2Make 2 deep slits between each of the bones on the loin. Top each apricot with a sage leaf and a sliver of garlic and fold in half. Tuck each folded apricot half into a slit in the roast. Season the meat with salt and pepper.

Step 3Heat the butter in a skillet until melted. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the roast in a roasting pan and top with the crumbs, patting them in place.

Step 4Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 150 degrees, 60 to 75 minutes. Remove to a carving board and let stand while preparing the sauce.

Step 5Combine the one-fourth cup of water and the chicken broth and stir into the drippings in the roasting pan, stirring to loosen any brown bits. Pour into a small saucepan and stir in the port. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Strain, then pour the liquid back into the saucepan. Blend the cornstarch and remaining 1 teaspoon of water until smooth; stir into the saucepan and simmer until the sauce is thickened and clear, 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 6Remove the foil from the bones. Carve the roast, cutting between the bones. Serve 1 chop with bone per serving, spooning a little sauce over each. Serve 2 roasted chestnuts on each plate.


  • 16 whole chestnuts

Step 1Heat the oven to 550 degrees.

Step 2Score an "X" on the flat side of the shell of each chestnut. Place them on a baking sheet and roast until they pop open, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chestnuts from the oven and immediately cover with a towel that has been soaked in ice water and wrung out. When the nuts are cool enough to handle the shells should peel off easily.

Note: The chestnut recipe is from "Roger Verge's Vegetables in the French Style" (Artisan, 1994).


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