2000s Recipes + Menus

Smoke-Roasted Sage-Crusted Pork Loin with Quick Mostarda di Frutta

Serves6 to 8
  • Active time:40 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/4 hr
June 2008
You can substitute a boneless pork loin in this recipe (it shortens the cooking time by about 15 minutes), but we encourage you to seek out a bone-in one; the meat always seems a bit richer and deeper in flavor. Plus you have the bones to gnaw on when you’re finished.

For pork

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 bone-in center-cut pork loin (about 5 lb)
  • Kosher salt to taste

For mostarda di frutta

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 1 2/3 cups mixed dried fruit (1/3 cup each of raisins and diced dried peaches, figs, mangoes, and California/Pacific apricots)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Equipment:

    a charcoal kettle grill (22 1/2-inch or larger); a mortar and pestle

Roast pork:

  • Open vents on bottom of grill. Light a fire well over to one side of grill, using enough charcoal to fill a large shoebox (about 60 briquettes).
  • Mash together oil, sage, fennel, and garlic with mortar and pestle to make a loose paste.
  • Pat pork dry and season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Rub all over with seasoning paste.
  • When flames have all died down and coals are covered in white ash, place pork on side of grill away from coals. Put lid on grill with vents open one quarter of the way. Roast, adding a large handful of new charcoal about every 30 minutes, until pork is done, 1 to 1 1/2 hours for medium-well. To check for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into center of roast, close to but not touching bone: 150°F is medium; 155°F is medium-well; and 160°F is well-done.
  • Transfer to a carving board and loosely cover with foil. Let stand about 20 minutes before carving pork between bones.

Make mostarda while pork roasts:

  • Whisk together water and dry mustard in a small bowl until smooth. Bring vinegar, brown sugar, and ginger to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Simmer over low heat, stirring very frequently, until thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in mustard mixture, then stir in all of dried fruit. Gently simmer until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes more. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Serve with pork.
Cooks’ note: Mostarda can be made 2 days ahead and chilled. Reheat before serving and thin with water if necessary.
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