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It’s been a goofy month. I don’t know if the word “goofy” exists or translates into French, but c’est comme ça, as they say, or “that’s how it is.” It seems like everything got discombobulated; even my vacation plans were thwarted by a server outage and a nasty jellyfish sting, whose only upside was that it was on my thigh – near, but not on, my génitaux. (I’ll spare you the details, but you can look that one up if you want.)

My iPhone also mysteriously died one night, which I discovered the next morning and I couldn’t get an appointment at the Apple store for a week. When I went in to the store in Paris, they told me the wait to speak to someone was three hours. (!) And when I went to put up a new recipe on the blog, I realized that I didn’t write down the baking time. Zut.

Fortunately I’m not a total nitwit, and had this recipe waiting in the wings. I had made it because I wanted to feature balsamic vinegar, which I have to admit, isn’t one of my favorite ingredients to add to a salad. The sweetness, to my taste, doesn’t enhance a salad, although it’s not bad with bitter greens like radicchio. Still, I’m more of a red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar kinda guy and prefer a bit of sharpness in my salads. But I found a bottle of balsamic vinegar lingering in the back of my cabinet and wanted to use it up.

In addition to doing my best not to let anything go to waste around here, another thing I’m fanatical about is collecting condiments. I think half of my refrigerator is filled with them, everything from a few types of mustard, harissa (North African hot sauce), chipotle sauce, Sambal Oelek (which I’m not sure how it got in there since I don’t remember ever using it), Char Siu sauce, jars of tahini that I bought in Lebanon, and a miscellaneous things that I forgot to label and have no idea what’s in them, and will probably remain in there until the day I move, and either use ’em…or toss ’em.

I’m also really into honey and have a cabinet full of jars, ranging from bitter chestnut honey to a lovely Meyer lemon honey given to me by my pal Casey, at Bushwick Kitchen. Needless to say, I also have a sterling collection of zip-top bags for transporting everything in.

The oven-roasted pork loin is a terrific way to use balsamic vinegar, which reduces to a lovely syrup, which you bathe the pork in while it’s cooking. It’s also got plenty of fresh ginger to give it some zing, along with a soupçon of honey, soy sauce, and hot sauce, to balance out the flavors.

So I’ve got a few things to do before the next blog post shows up, including trying to figure out if my aging eyes will appreciate one of those oversized iPhone Plus phones, and if so, will I need to start toting around a man purse to carry it around in? And helping my pharmacist decipher my doctor’s handwriting so he can fill my prescriptions for the antidote to that oddly shaped red swipe across my thigh, courtesy of a Mediterranean meduse. While I wait, here’s a recipe for richly glazed roast pork, that anyone should be able to understand.

Balsamic Glazed Roast Pork

I used a boneless pork loin roast, called a roti de porc in French. It's a fairly lean cut, wider than a slender pork tenderloin (called filet mignon, in French). You can use this marinade for pork tenderloin, but you'll need to reduce the baking time. The USDA recommends cooking pork until the temperature in the center is 145ºF (62ºC), which you can determine with an instant-read thermometer. Be sure to let the pork loin rest before slicing into it.
Servings 6 servings
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) honey
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) soy sauce
  • 2 inch (5cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce , (optional)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds (1-1,25kg) boneless pork loin roast
  • In a zip-top freezer bag, or a bowl, mix the balsamic vinegar, honey, olive oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, hot sauce, a few generous turns of black pepper, and fish sauce, if using. Add the pork. If using a freezer bag, press out excess air and seal. Refrigerate the pork loin for 24 hours, turning it a few times in the marinade during that time.
  • To roast the pork, preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  • Place the pork roast in a shallow baking dish. Pour enough water (or leftover white wine, if you have any) into the bottom of the baking dish, so it's about 1/4-inch (1cm) deep.
  • While the pork roasts, liberally baste the pork loin with the marinade every 10 to 15 minutes, and spooning liquid that's pooling in the bottom of the baking dish over it as well. Be very generous with the marinade, as you go.Note: If the liquid on the bottom of the pan threatens to dry up, add more water (or wine) to the pan. (Do not add water to a dry baking dish if the dish is made of glass or ceramic, as it can crack.)
  • Roast the pork for 50 minutes to 1 hour. (You can check it using an instant-read thermometer, as indicated by the headnote, if you wish.) Remove the pork the oven, let rest 10 minutes, covered with foil, basting it with sauce a few times as it's resting, before slicing.



    • Daria

    I have trouble finding wine to go with balsamic vinegar dishes. What do you drink with it?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I think something like a sturdy Alsatian wine, perhaps a dry Riesling or Gerwürtztraminer would work well, or for red, a fruit-forward (not too heavy) Pinot Noir, Beaujolais or Brouilly would be nice, too.

    • Allison

    Jelly fish stings are brutal! Take care of yourself and thanks for this délice!

    • Andi

    So, you don’t dump the marinade in with the pork roast? Reserve it just for basting? Thanks

      • Kevin

      I’d like to know the answer to that too.

        • David
        David Lebovitz

        Yes, in step #3 you place the pork in the baking dish along with some water or wine. Then in step #4, you use the marinade to baste the pork while it’s baking. The marinade can reduce/burn on the bottom of the baking dish if added too soon, and in the original concentration, so that’s why I advise baking it with water/wine first.

    • mlleparadis

    I was not too surprised when your recipe revealed itself to have classic teriyaki ingredients as a base. My mother based a quasi-career on making every kind of teriyaki, and pork teriyaki has stood the test of time as being by far the tastiest. And too funny, I clicked on this post to find a recipe that WASN’T teriyaki! I’ll still try it though. Happy Cooking!

    • Linda S

    I can’t wait to try this!

      • Linda S

      oh, and I am definitely adding the fish sauce. I find it adds a depth of flavor to just about anything. A little goes a long way.

    • Bebe

    Wow! That sounds fabulous. I agree with the previous poster that it is fairly near classic teriyaki, but the balsamic has to mellow it and bring it together with the honey. So good for pork.

    Glad you are OK, David. Well, sort of. And back. Everything breaking here, too – people, things, laptop keys… Small consolation, but you are not alone.

    Thanks for a recipe that sounds like another winner…

    • Lindy

    This brings to mind my German grandmother’s pork roast :)

    • Lady in LA

    Please come to Los Angeles ✨✨✨✨

    • Elizabeth Minchilli

    Wow, last week the moon must have been out of whack . So many people I know either broke body parts or computer parts. This recipe looks delicious but one of these days we have to have a basalmico session since it sounds like what you have in your cupboard is industrial? I think I can convert you if you give me a chance.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The bottle in my pantry was indeed the commercial stuff. I may have used it for a bbq glaze or something, at some point, but I have several little (and precious!) bottles of real balsamic, some I’ve been saving (and savoring) since a trip to Modena a few years back. You’re right that once you taste the real deal, it’s hard to eat anything else.

        • Bebe

        Re balsamic vinegar, I would not be apt to use 2/3 cup of the precious stuff in a recipe with all these other ingredients. Soy, ginger, hot sauce, etc. The perfect use for any industrial stuff that might be around.

    • Wendy R.

    Definitely look for an opportunity to use that sambal. I LOVE Bon Appetit’s recipe for Sambal Chicken- it suggests grilling skewers, but I love to use the sauce as a marinade, stir fry sauce, etc.

    • Gregory B. Mowery

    David–How nice to read that someone besides me doesn’t like balsamic vinegar in salads. It was depressing to visit Italy and find the local trattorias had stopped offering red wine vinegar and used balsamic instead. It is a great addition to marinades, but I don’t like it raw unless it is of excellent quality. I’ll make this pork roast soon!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It’s become very popular in France as well. I think it has its place, even in certain salads (like with bitter or winter greens), but it’s too sweet & overwhelming for my taste on a green salad. Like you, I prefer red wine (or sherry) vinegar.

    • Liz W.

    This sounds delicious, but I’m a bit confused. Do I add the marinade to the pan when I put it in the oven along with the water or wine and let it reduce, or am I just basting with it from a bowl on the counter?

      • Liz W.

      Never mind, I didn’t see your earlier answer. Sorry!

    • Linda

    What exactly is in that yellow tube in the 2nd photo? I don’t see anything in the list of ingredients I would expect to come in a tube.

      • Lindy

      There are red peppers on the side of the logo on the tube — maybe it’s the pepper sauce/paste that’s in the recipe?

      • Adriana

      The tube says Harissa, I wonder if that is what David is using where the recipe calls for hot sauce?

      • Deb Elliott

      It’s Harrisa

    • soozzie

    For the next time you have “extra” balsamic vinegar: combine 1/2 c balsamic vinegar, 1 c red wine, 3/4 c sugar, 3 or 4 whole cloves, and lemon peel from half a lemon. Gently simmer into a syrup, adjusting wine/vinegar/sugar as needed to taste. Stir in 1/2 t vanilla extract after cooking. Strain. Drizzle over any cut up fresh fruit (small berries leave whole), and watch your French friends’ eyes light up when they taste it. Works every time.

    • Michele

    Hi David. I’m laughing because I think there was another time that you posted a recipe that was not a match during Jewish holidays! ; )

    • Stacey in New Mexico USA

    Your “goofy” month may have been caused by the “Mercury Retrograde”….depending on when your craziness began and ended. I had never known about it before until a customer shared it with me when I was telling her about everything going wrong in my world. I even said “what the heck is going on in the universe?” only trying to be funny. She sent me a link to an article about the Mercury Retrograde. Look it up, if you feel so inclined!

    • Liz S.

    Doozie, I believe that’s the harissa.

      • Liz S.

      Sorry! Linda!

    • Chandler in Las Vegas

    David, thanks for the increased presence in the comments. Your direct comments are greatly appreciated.

    • Sue Story

    Is the pork skinless? In NZ often sold with skin on.

    • Jill Appenzeller

    Go for the plus. !!! For the camera, if nothing else. I resisted for years and now it’s the only camera I take when I travel. And I thought the size would be a problem but it’s a non issue.

    See you at Rakestraw Books in Danville in October-

    • Still learning to deal with yeast at 7000′

    Always enjoy your words and photos, even if there’s not a chance I’ll ever make that particular recipe. BUT… they are true to form when I do, and I thank you for that!
    I, too, seem to collect condiments, and Have learned to use a Sharpie to write the “opened date” somewhere on the jar/tin/whatever. Helps in determining whether to toss or use up!

    • Mimi Woodham

    Your photos are beautiful as always. I will have to add the pork to my list to cook. I sympathize with the refrigerator problem, I am a ‘condiment girl’. My friends make fun of me because it’s always packed but it is all deliciousness. They are not laughing when testing the magic from my ‘fridge. Good luck with the new phone. That is an ordeal for sure.

    Next week is sure to deliver joy to offset your previous drama. That is the way the universe works, right? My vote is for the man bag!

    • Gavrielle

    I’m not a balsamic on salads fan either, but I did recently discover a salad dressing use for it. It was in a recipe that used cider vinegar (for the health benefits) and included a teaspoon of balsamic which nicely takes the raw edge off the cider vinegar. A good combo when you’re out of the good stuff.

    • Philip

    Re your iPhone– you can go into settings and change the type size, Doesn’t work for all apps, but it’s a huge improvement.

    • Karen H.

    I think the habit of collecting condiments is also known as “condimentia”! My husband is a sufferer of that malady!

    • Taste of France

    This looks like a winner. My husband considers pork a “lesser” meat and insists it be jazzed up to worthy.
    I went to a cooking demo yesterday and the chefs brought out all kinds of tantalizing condiments: moutarde violette au moux de raisin, for one. Makes it hard not to want to try them out. The problem is using them up.

    • pam

    Does the pork taste sweet? Seems like a lot of honey?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I didn’t find it sweet, especially with all the ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and garlic. I made it a few times before I posted it and liked the results but you can reduce the honey if you want. If you do, let me know how it works out.

    • Raro

    I don’t know much about cuts of pork. Can I use a bone-in shoulder roast for this recipe? I was going to cook it in the pressure cooker.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’m sure you could adapt the marinade for a pressure cooker or slow cooker, and for pork shoulder, although I don’t have either one of those devices so can’t say how. But give it a go!

        • Bebe

        I don’t believe the roast would end up with that nice glaze. Those cooking devices leave it very moist all over. Oven roasting causes the glaze to set up and form a nice soft crust on the outside of the meat.

    • Danuta Gajewski

    Yet again, you’ve come to the rescue with one of your brilliant recipes! Once a month a group of friends get together at one of our homes and the host/hostess prepares lunch. The last 3 have been chicken – ugh, so tired of chicken, so I thought perhaps a pork tenderloin. David, you read my mind! Thanks…will definitely make this recipe!

    • silvia

    Dear David I would like to thank you for this succulent recipe, which I haven’t tried yet but I wish I will very very soon :-) I am sure it is going to be a success, as well as all of them from your books and of course, website. Thanks for delighting us again with this new one! I have one doubt: can it be made ahead, and reheatedm maybe after having been carved? I usually have around 14 people at home and I think this could be great but I am afraid in my oven I will not be able to place two or three of them… Thanks!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Glad you like the recipes. Sure, this can be reheated as you mentioned – no problem! Pork tends to be lean so best to rewarm it in some sauce so it doesn’t dry out.

    • Rahul Upadhyay

    Can i use anything else rather than pork?

    • Luna

    Glad to hear the jellyfish didn’t choose the worst place to get in touch with you so you can still be here sharing this juicy pork recipe with us :)

    • Mary Beth

    Can you recommend a hot sauce? I live in the UK and have access to many US products as well.

      • Mary Beth

      I noticed other commenting on a bottle of Harissa. Is that what you used?

    • Deborah

    Bowls are good. Plastic pollutes our oceans. Go for the bowl!

    • Nina Sgriccia

    Thanks to you my husband and I had a wonderful trip to France. We explored the backroads through Brittany, Loire and Dordogne. Along the way we searched out LaBrocalou Titoustock and spent a wonderful hour. We also searched out Le Beurre Bordier in St. Malo. Wow! What a taste experience. At that location they sell a cooler bag with ice pack for less than 2 euros and we were able to bring our treasures home safely. Thank you again for a great blog and newsletter.
    Nina in Michigan

    • Bj

    What would you recommend serving as side dishes with this pork?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I served it with a “slaw” type salad of shredded cabbage, carrots, and radicchio is a mustardy/garlic dressing, but it’d go well with sauteed broccolini (with garlic) or roast root vegetables.

    • Mary Beth Mahoney

    Made it! Used Tabasco sauce as we didn’t have harissa. Served with new potatoes and mixed green salad garnished with nasturtium leaves and flowers (sliced radishes work too). THANKS for publishing as husband won’t generally eat balsamic vinegar and I also find it too sweet for salads. Everyone LOVED it !!! Looking forward to using the leftover marinade on grilled salmon tomorrow.

    • Chuck McVey

    Because pork loin can be so dry when roasted, I usually braise this cut. With a recent sale price I couldn’t pass up, I even made a stew using pork loin and Piment d’Espelette.
    This recipe does pique my interest, but is dryness an issue resolved with the water/wine addition?

      • Mary Beth Mahoney

      Our roast wasn’t dry for dinner. My husband took leftovers to work today and said the meat was still moist with reheating (plenty of sauce leftover).

    • bob raymond

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I printed it out and can’t wait to make it.
    If you are a perfectionist, step #5 needs a little editing.

    • Pat

    I used this marinade on a pork tenderloin and it was yummy, but a decidedly Asian flavour profile. Next time I’ll serve it with some rice and braised bok choy. It was great with a hoppy IPA.

    • Meagan

    Made this pork roast for dinner tonight, and it was fantastic. Only marinated for about 8 hours, because I forgot to do it the day before, and it still had wonderful flavor. I liked how the balmasic vinegar mellows out while roasting, and the ginger comes through bright and citrusy, but not by any means overpowering. I will certainly be making this again.

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Pat, Mary Beth and Meagan: Thanks for your feedback and glad you liked the recipe!

    bob: Oops. Not sure how that extra little word got in there, but I took it out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    • Nicole

    This looks amazing! I am always looking for ways to dress up a pork roast.

    • Victor @

    I too have been, fortunately or unfortunately, introduced to real 18 year old aged Modena balsamic and I can never go back. I buy it in 750ml bottles from a local importer. The price is high not unreasonable if you buy a large bottle.

    The pork loin turned out great, with deep and complex flavors. I did add some sherry vinegar to add some acidity. Overall it worked really well for me.

    • Jennifer

    David, this was absolutely fabulous! Seriously, the best tasting pork loin I have ever made, and have tried so many recipes over the years. Always found pork loin dry, and uninspiring, until this! Made for a dinner party and it was a huge success. Cannot thank you enough.

    • GBannis

    David, I’ve enjoyed all your recipes that I’ve made. Thanks.

    I do have a request that you be more specific about Asian ingredients when calling for them. This balsamic glazed pork recipe calls for “soy sauce,” but as you know there is dark, thin, Japanese, etc. soy sauces.

    The foodie world will cite salt down to the color and mine it came from, but can’t seem to do the same for our oldest cuisines.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It’s hard to write recipes nowadays with so many variables and if you get too specific, people think they can’t make the recipe unless they have that specific ingredient.

      And to avoid recipes that are overly long, and look complicated (which is why so many publishers in the U.S. have been reluctant to include metrics), some things like flour, nuts, fruit, chocolate, aren’t broken down by specific type or variety; it’s assumed in the recipe-writing world that certain ingredients are standard. For soy sauce, I worked in an Asian restaurant for two years and know there are various types of soy sauce (i.e., tamari, white, double-brewed, shoyu, and low sodium.), so rather than try to name a specific type of soy sauce, like the olive oil and hot sauce in the recipe, I give the cook a little leeway but assume that when soy sauce is mentioned in a recipe, that it’s dark soy sauce, which is the most commonly used and available.

    • Rita

    What side dish would you recommend with this?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I mentioned a few in a comment above ^^
      but it’d also be very good with wide noodles, rice (plain or fried rice), mashed rutabagas or sweet potatoes, too.


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