Perfect Pork Roast with Maple Dijon Gastrique

Jan 8, 2021 | meat, Recipes

Pork, you either love it or you hate it. I love it. And I firmly believe that if you eat pork that is perfectly done, meaning not dry and overcooked, you will love it too. This pork roast is a little more forgiving than some others. That in part is due to the long marinating time. The marinade consists of onion, apples, garlic, and a bunch of other stuff. This pork roast has loads of flavour and will remain juicy and tender even if slightly overcooked (but don’t overcook it). This is the first post in my six-week roast series, and I am very excited to get going. So, without another moment’s hesitation, let’s get to it.

The Right Pork To Roast

For my pork roast, I used a piece of pork shoulder. Pork shoulder is generally pretty cheap, it’s well-marbled, and it is often sold with a piece of bone in it. Those are all pluses. The marbling, meaning the lines of fat within the meat, helps prevent the meat from drying out. That fat also adds to the flavour of the pork. The bone, though it extends the cooking time, also helps to keep the pork moist. For roasts, pork shoulder or butt is the way to go, in my opinion. Pork loin is far too lean and requires very close attention to ensure that it is not overcooked the slightest bit. If pork loin is overcooked, it is as dry as anything and lacks all flavour.

Pork Marinade

The pork’s marinade is made primarily of grated apple, sliced onion, garlic, and thyme. To those base ingredients, juniper berries (optional) are added along with cider vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, maple syrup, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. As always, you can find the full measurements in the recipe at the end of the post. All of the marinade ingredients are mixed, then rubbed on the pork. This gets covered and put in the fridge for up to two days before roasting.

Roasting The Pork

To roast the pork, take it out of the marinade and remove any excess. Place the pork on a rack set over a roasting pan. Cook the pork in a 375°f oven for one hour and forty-five minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the pork reaches a temperature of 155°f. Let the pork rest for at least fifteen minutes before slicing. If you want to speed up the cooking time a little, you can directly place the pork on the roasting pan rather than on a rack. This should take about fifteen to twenty minutes off of the total cooking time.

Maple Dijon Gastrique

What is a gastrique?

Gastrique is essentially a French sweet and sour sauce. This version is made of a mixture of maple syrup and cider vinegar to which grainy Dijon mustard and butter are added. To make the gastrique combine a quarter cup of maple syrup and two tablespoons of cider vinegar in a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook for three minutes. Take the pot off the heat and whisk in the mustard, then whisk in the butter. The gastrique should be the consistency of thick maple syrup and should be served warm.

Red Cabbage and Apples

One of my favourite sides with roast pork is red cabbage cooked with apples. As I love it so much, I thought I would share my recipe with you. This cabbage also goes very well with scallops and bacon.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in some olive oil along with four cups of sliced red cabbage, one cup of sliced onion, one cup of sliced green apple and two tablespoons of sliced garlic. Cook until the cabbage starts to soften. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper, add in a quarter cup of water along with two tablespoons of maple syrup. Continue to cook until the cabbage is completely soft. Finish the cabbage with two tablespoons of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of butter. Cook for three more minutes and serve.

Serving The Pork Roast

Serve the pork roast with either roasted or mashed potatoes, the red cabbage, and a green vegetable like green beans if you’d like. Slice the pork as thin as you can, and top it with the gastrique. This is an absolute winner. Enjoy!

Pork Roast With Maple Gastrique

Perfect Roast Pork With Maple Dijon Gastrique and Red Cabbage and Apples

Tender, juicy pork roast, with a sweet and sou maple dijon gastrique, and cabbage cooked with apples.
Prep Time: 1 day 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Pork, Roast Pork, Roast Series
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Chef’s Notes


Pork Marinade

  • 1 pork shoulder roast 3 lbs
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp sliced garlic
  • 4 – 5 whole sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 7 crushed juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Red Cabbage and Green Apples

  • 4 cups red cabbage sliced
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 cup green apple, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 tbsp sliced garlic
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp Cider vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper

Maple Dijon Gastrique

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp butter


Pork Marinade

  • In a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients except the pork. Mix well.
  • Rub the marinade into the pork, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight or for up to two days.
  • Take the pork out of the fridge, remove excess marinade and place the pork on a rack set over a roasting pan.
  • Roast the pork in the oven at 375°f for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reaches a temperature of 155°f. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Red Cabbage and Green Apple

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the olive oil, cabbage, onion, apple, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring every once in a while for about 8 minutes or until the cabbage starts to soften. Add the maple syrup and water, cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until the cabbage is completely soft.
  • Season the cabbage with salt and pepper and add in the cider vinegar. Cook for 3 more minutes, take off the heat and serve.

Maple Dijon Gastrique

  • In a small pot combine the maple syrup and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for three minutes, making sure it doesn't boil over.
  • Take the pot off the heat and whisk in the mustard and butter. Serve warm.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


There you have it—the first post in my new roast series. We’ve got many exciting roasts coming up, including roast lamb, chicken, salmon, and more. I hope that you are looking forward to this as much as I am. I’ll see you soon and have a great weekend.

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