Adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso.
Copyright © Workman Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Fruit with meat is very ’80s, but it’s hard to argue with this combination of moist pork, jammy dried fruit and the winey pan juices. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular recipes in a book full of favorites.
Heat oven to 350°F.
With a long thin knife, cut a hole through the center of the pork, running the length of it. Move knife to increase diameter of hole, as it will need to accommodate the dried fruit.
Using handle of a wooden spoon, push the dried fruits into the hole of the roast, alternating prunes and apricots.
Make slits in roast with the tip of a knife and push the garlic into the slits. Rub surface with salt and pepper and place in a shallow baking pan.
Smear butter over the roast and sprinkle with thyme. Stir Madeira and molasses together and pour over roast. Set pan on middle rack of oven and bake for 75 minutes, basting every 20 minutes. After 75 minutes, check temperature in thickest part of the roast; pull from oven when it reaches 140°F (temperature will rise slightly as it rests).
Let pork stand, loosely covered with foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. To serve, cut into thin slices and spoon pan juices over slices. Serves 8 to 10.
Vintage Report: 1982
The year 1982 is famed as one of Bordeaux’s vintages of the century, thanks to a then-little known Robert Parker gushing over it as one of the region’s best ever. That view has met with controversy over subsequent years, but the ripe, rich ’82 Bordeaux are still highly sought after. It was also an exceptional year for Champagne, South Africa and Spain; high-quality wines from Ribera del Duero, too, are still drinking terrifically.
Guigal 2018 Red (Côtes du Rhône)
Authors Lukins and Rosso were big fans of Beaujolais and Côtes du Rhône in the 1980s, recommending them as affordable and versatile food wines. The recommendation holds today. Guigal’s entry-level CdR is always a great value; the 2018 has herbs and spices that go well with the pork, while dark berry fruit melds with the sweeter elements in the dish.
This article originally appeared in the November 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!
Last Updated: June 1, 2023