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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

This Christmas roast has tender pork, chestnuts, figs, dates and a sinful dark rum-infused sauce.
Course Holidays, Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 6
Calories 613kcal


  • Thick bottom large pot or dutch oven
  • Meat thermometer


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 9530mg | Potassium: 1105mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 165mg | Iron: 3mg