Recipes with Cardamom: Roast Pork with Pears

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The complex yet delicate flavor of cardamom turns Roast Pork with Pears and Basmati Rice Pilaf into a feast.

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Serves 4 to 8 

A few simple ingredients go into this classic winter dish.

• 3- to 4-pound boneless pork loin
• 4 large Comice, Bosc, or other firm pears
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
• 2 large yellow onions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set the pork in a large roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part. Roast the meat for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees.

2. Meanwhile, slice the pears in half vertically, pare them, and remove the core and stem. Smear the cardamom over the cut surfaces. Quarter the onions.

3. When the meat thermometer registers 130 degrees, place the pears and onions in the roasting pan. Continue roasting until the pork reaches 155 degrees to 165 degrees (for medium and well-done meat, respectively). Remove the meat from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes before carving. Serve on a platter surrounded by the pears and onions.


Cornelia Carlson exercises her passion for growing tropical spices in her San Diego–area home. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is the author of The Practically Meatless Gourmet (Prima, 1996). 

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