This Christmas roast with tender pork, chestnuts, figs, dates has a sinful dark rum-infused sauce that’s very difficult to resist. Cooked slowly on the stovetop, it is easy and fuss-free! Just add buttery mashed potatoes for a simple yet delicious holiday meal.

A Christmas roast on a platter surrounded with dried fruit, a gravy boat at the back in a holiday environment.

Looking for more festive dinner menu ideas don’t miss this easy cheese pie with kataifi pastry and Roquefort as an appetizer. For a holiday roast check out my slow-roasted leg of lamb in a parcel – kleftiko and this fuss-free puff pastry apple pie for dessert!

Why this recipe sings

Of all the Christmas roasts I prefer the easy ones! This holiday roast has a perfect combination of flavors. It has just the right balance between sweet and savory.

This holiday pot roast pairs pork shoulder with winter fruits creating a dish of exuberant, complex taste, cooked almost on its own, leaving plenty of time to prepare your side dishes.

This is an easy showstopper recipe that will wow your guests. I guarantee it!

Here is what you need

Ingredients for a holiday roast on a butcher block.
  • Pork shoulder boneless roast. That is the cut I always get and I ask my butcher to tie it fo me. Shoulder is more succulent, with a little more fat that keeps it moist. You can also get this cut on the bone, but you will need to adjust the cooking time. With bone in it will take a longer to cook.
  • Onions. My go-to are red onions but white onions will work fine with this recipe. You can also use small pearl onions if you like.
  • Dried figs. My faves are these sundried figs from kalamata. I also like golden california figs.
  • Dried dates. I love medjool dates. They are large and soft with a rich flavor.
  • Chestnuts. To make life easier I use already roasted and peeled whole chestnuts.
  • Nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves and chili flakes. This combination of spices brings out fantastic wholesome flavors.
  • Olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  • Broth. Can be chicken or vegetable.
  • Dark rum. You can substitute with brandy or whiskey. You can also use apple juice or white grape juice. Check recipe notes for tips.

Step by step

Season the pork shoulder with sea salt and freshly ground pepper all over.

Leave it out on the counter for about one hour.

A A pork shoulder roast tied with twine  searing in a skillet.
Sear the meat in medium-high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil for 6-7 minutes, until it is golden brown on all sides.
A pork shoulder roast tied with twine in a skillet with diced onions and bay leaves.
Add the rum and let the alcohol evaporate for 1 minute. Add the spices, the bay leaves, the garlic cloves, and the diced onions.
A pork shoulder roast tied with twine  in a skillet with diced onions and bay leaves.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook for about 1.5 hours until the meat is tender.

A A pork shoulder roast tied with twine with dried fruit.
Add the dried fruits, and chestnuts, to the pot and cook on very low heat for another 30 minutes. Remove the meat, fruit, and chestnuts with a slotted spoon and arrange them on a serving platter. Pour the sauce in a gravy boat and serve.

Helpful Q&A

How do I know the pork roast is cooked fully and is not dry?

For a pork roast, the rule is to roast in the oven 25 minutes per pound of meat at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). However, this recipe is on the stovetop and uses very low heat. The weight of my pork shoulder was 2.7 lbs / 1.2 kg. I cook the roast for a total of two hours. My advice is to use a thermometer to read the internal temperature of the roast after one hour of cooking. Then every 15 minutes. When the temperature reaches 140 degrees F (60 C), pull the roast out; it’ll continue to cook while resting and will reach 145 degrees F (63 C). If the pork is done early pull it out and keep cooking the dried fruit and chestnuts in the sauce separately.

Is dried fruit good for you?

Yes. Dried fruit is highly nutritious. Just one piece of dried fruit contains almost the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit.
Compared by weight, dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins, and minerals of fresh fruit.
Dried figs are delicious and an excellent source of dietary fiber. They have so many essential minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium, and are rich in antioxidants.
Dates are really sweet but have a low glycemic index. They are a great source of fiber, potassium, and iron.
Please avoid dried fruit that contains added sugar. Always read the ingredients and nutrition information found on the package.

A plate with slices of roast pork with dried fruit, and mashed potatoes a gravy boat at the back in a holiday environment.

What to serve with this roast

First and foremost, you can’t go wrong with buttery mashed potatoes. If that is not your cup of tea, try these lemon potatoes with garlic and oregano. Vegetables like Greek sweet peas-arakas, brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar or a large fresh salad with an acidic dressing complement a holiday roast.

You may also like

Check out my Greek pantry staples 

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A Christmas roast on a platter surrounded with dried fruit, a gravy boat at the back in a holiday environment.

Christmas Roast With Chestnuts, Figs And Dates

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
This Christmas roast has tender pork, chestnuts, figs, dates and a sinful dark rum-infused sauce.
5 from 18 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Holidays, Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6
Calories 613 kcal

Equipment

  • Thick bottom large pot or dutch oven
  • Meat thermometer

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder roast boneless
  • 1 cup onions diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup dark rum
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup Medjool dates pitted and halved
  • 1 cup chestnuts cooked, whole
  • 1 cup dried figs
  • 1 cup organic broth chicken or vegetable
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • Season the pork shoulder with sea salt and freshly ground pepper all over. Leave it out on the counter to reach room temperature and dry brine a little for about 1 hour.
  • Using a thick bottom pot (like a dutch oven) sear the meat in medium-high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil for 6-7 minutes, until it is golden brown on all sides.
  • Add the rum and let the alcohol evaporate for 1 minute. Then, add the spices, cloves, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and diced onions.
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook for about 1.5 hours until the meat is tender.
  • Add the dried fruits and chestnuts to the pot and cook on very low heat for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the meat and fruit with a slotted spoon and arrange them on a serving platter. Pour the sauce in a gravy boat and serve.

Notes

The rule is to roast in the oven 25 minutes per pound of meat at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for a pork roast. However, this recipe is on the stovetop and uses very low heat. The weight of my pork shoulder was 2.7 lbs / 1.2 kg. I cook the roast for a total of two hours. Use a thermometer to read the roast’s internal temperature after one hour of cooking. Then check every 15 minutes. When the temperature reaches 140 degrees F (60 C), pull the roast out; The meat will continue to cook while resting and get 145 degrees F (63 C). If the pork is done earlier than expected, pull it out, cover it with aluminum foil, and keep cooking the dried fruit and chestnuts in the sauce separately.
Adjust the cooking time if you prefer a pork shoulder roast on the bone. With the bone-in, it will take longer to cook.
Red and white onions will work fine with this recipe. You can also use a cup and a half of small pearl onions if you like.
Dried figs. Great figs are sundried figs from kalamata. I also like the golden California figs. Feel free to use your preference. I leave the fruit whole.
Dried dates. I always use Medjool dates. They are large and soft with a rich flavor.
Chestnuts. Get already roasted and peeled whole chestnuts.
You can substitute the dark rum with brandy or whiskey. For a non-alcohol option, use apple juice or white grape juice. Use ½ cup instead of one cup of rum to substitute. Also, add half a cup of water with the juice. Always get juices with no added sugar.
 
Nutritional Info – Please remember that the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 613kcalCarbohydrates: 55gProtein: 36gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 98mgSodium: 9530mgPotassium: 1105mgFiber: 5gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 156IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 165mgIron: 3mg
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Christmas Roast With Chestnuts And Figs

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