Recipe: Pork Roast with Boozy Prunes

Remember the Sunday afternoon roast? How, as it slowly sizzled and crackled in the oven, the most wonderful smell crept throughout the house until there was nowhere to hide, and you were so hungry you almost couldn’t stand it? Eventually, playing outside was the only possible distraction. Even then the smell snuck out, through cracks in the wall, enticing you until you mysteriously found yourself infront of mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, just about anyone who would listen, asking “Is it ready yet?” … only to find yourself shooed back outside again for another agonizing half hour.

As you know, waiting was always worth it.

In the spirit of those wonderful Sundays, I bring you a Lithuanian-inspired Pork Roast. This moist platter of deliciousness features the regionally adored prune and the most popular meat in the country – pork. The best part about this roast is splashing the prunes with plenty of white wine. The sweet, dried fruit takes on a universe of flavor… and looks like a shimmering, liquid sky.

Say hello to happiness.

Vilnius, Lithuania. Photo by Eugenijus Radlinskas.

Recipe inspired by Art of Lithuanian Cooking by Maria Gieysztor de Gorgey.


2 1/2 lb pork loin
vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder

1 1/2 cup white wine
12 ounces prunes


Get ready to make your family’s tummies rumble.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Truss the pork, if needed. The one I bought came wrapped up in netting. I highly recommend leaving the netting on; it holds the meat together, plus you’ll end up with pretty marks on the roast (just cut it off before slicing).

Now rub it all over with oil and a mix of rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Roast until internal thermometer in the thickest part of the pork reads about 125F, then add prunes and white wine to the bottom of the roasting pan, being careful not to get burned by the steam.  Remove pork from oven when it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150F (roasting times vary, depending on thickness of roast- keep an eye on it) Which makes it just a little pink in the center and outrageously juicy.

Now, tell your family they have to wait ten more minutes, for the meat to rest. Shoo them outside to play, if you have to.Unless it’s nighttime, of course… in which case they should just go read a book by lamplight.

Old Town Stikliu street at night. Vilnius Lithuania. Photo by Umnik.

Finally, when they don’t seem like they can wait one second longer, bring your entire family around this roast.

You’ll be glad you did.

Happy cooking.

Happy Sunday.

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  1. It looks so good! Can you do this with pork chops? Like this thick pork chop for example.

    Also it says “then add prunes and white wine”. Where do you put them?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thanks, Brian! The pork chops would be better off browned/cooked in a pan, then you could remove them, cover with foil, and add the prunes/wine to the pan to deglaze. I’m afraid they might dry out in the oven. Oh, and I updated the recipe – thanks!

  2. aunty eileen says:

    If you brown first on stove top the roast or slices of roast (if wanting to cut down on baking time) or pork chop…. you can also make a nice sauce/gravy for the roast or chop and can also baste while baking the roast or thick slice of chop…..

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Yum! That is a nice variation. I like the juices this way, too, though – not thickened… because the prunes are so sweet…

      • aunty eileen says:

        A variation I have for pork roast likers, is: after stove-top browning the roast pork meat coated with salt and pepper and removing the meat from the skillet or baking pan, add a mixture of 1/2 cup apple or apricot jam and 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/4 cup Dijon mustard… cooking over low heat while continually stirring until well blended for about 5 minutes. This mixture can be used for basting the roast pork while the meat is baking.

        When pork roast is done baking and resting on a platter… place the roasting pan on stove-top over low heat and make gravy/sauce. I prefer not too thick of a sauce/gravy so I would use water or more apple juice and bit of cornstarch. Or, for thicker sauce/gravy mix cornstarch and light cream… adjust how you prefer. I would also add some fresh ground pepper and salt… if needed.


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