The Washington Post

Grill-Roasted Pork Loin With Blackberry Sauce

Grill-Roasted Pork Loin With Blackberry Sauce 6.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Jul 10, 2020

Don’t skip allowing the pork loin to rest on the counter before grilling. If the roast is colder than the recommended internal temperature of 55 degrees, the exterior could dry out, because the roast will take longer to grill. If you want to spread some sauce on the loin while grilling and have more to serve tableside, double the recipe.

If you use frozen blackberries, there's no need to defrost them first.

You will need an oven or grill thermometer to check the temperature of your grill and an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature of your roast.

Make Ahead: The sauce can be made and refrigerated for up to 3 days in advance. Reheat before serving.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate the roast in an airtight container for up to 4 days; refrigerate the sauce for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings; makes about 2/3 cup sauce

  • For the pork loin
  • 1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (from 1 medium shallot) or onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 pint fresh or frozen blackberries (about 10 ounces), plus more for garnish (see headnote)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Let the pork loin sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Make the sauce: While the pork is resting, in a medium saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shallot, garlic, rosemary and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot and garlic are tender and fragrant, about 4 minutes; adjust the heat if the shallot or garlic start to brown.

Add the blackberries, syrup, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and mustard and stir to combine, crushing the berries with a spoon or rubber spatula to start releasing the juices.

Adjust the heat so the mixture is at a lively simmer and cook until the blackberries collapse and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently, 10 to 15 minutes. (This will take a few minutes longer if you are using frozen blackberries.)

Transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a sieve back into the saucepan, pressing and scraping the blackberry pulp to remove the seeds while pushing the pulp through. (You could skip this step, but your sauce will be seedy.)

Gently reheat the sauce, season generously with the pepper, taste, and adjust, as needed, with more salt, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and/or vinegar. The sauce should be a balance of sweet, sour and salty with a hint of chile heat. Remove from the heat.

Prepare the grill: If using a gas grill with three burner zones, heat the left and right zones to medium-high and leave the center off. With two burner zones, heat one to medium-high and leave the other one off.

If using a charcoal grill, fill a chimney starter with charcoal, light it, and when the coals are red hot, dump them into your grill (keep the cooking grate off for now). Add more charcoal — you will need about 8 pounds total if using regular charcoal briquettes (one medium bag), possibly more if using hardwood charcoal chunks.

When all the coals have ashed over but are still very hot, scoot them into a ring around the edge of your grill, leaving an empty spot in the middle. If your grill is too small to allow for the empty spot, scoot the coals to one side, leaving the other side empty.

Replace the cooking grate, and set an oven or grill thermometer on top. Cover the grill.

Rub the pork with a light film of oil and season generously all over with salt and pepper. (Remember that a lot of the salt will drop off during cooking, so don’t be shy.) Check the internal temperature of the raw pork for reference; ideally, it will register around 55 degrees.

Check the temperature inside the grill; you want it between 450 and 500 degrees. If it is too cool, add more coals and wait until they have ashed over. If too hot, wait a few minutes. If using a gas grill, you want the temperature at 400 degrees.

When the grill temperature is in range, place the pork on the grill, fat side up. Cover the grill.

Roast the pork undisturbed for about 20 minutes, then check the temperatures (try to do this quickly so you don’t lose a lot of heat): the pork should be around 110 degrees and the “oven” will have dropped to around 400 degrees. If using a gas grill, adjust the burners so the temperature inside the grill is about 350 degrees.

Continue to cook an additional 10 minutes and then brush a generous layer of the blackberry sauce over the pork (unless you prefer to leave the pork “natural” and serve the sauce on the side). Don’t try to get the sauce on the underside of the pork.

Continue cooking 5 additional minutes or so, to let the glaze start to set, and check the internal temperature of the pork. When it reaches 130 degrees in the center, transfer it to a serving platter, taking care not to disturb the glazed surface; tent it loosely with foil. (If you have a cutting board with a channel that holds juices, you can go directly to the cutting board; the goal is to capture all the juice.)

The internal temperature of the roast will continue to rise about 10 degrees once off the grill. A final temperature of 140 degrees will give you juicy, slightly pink pork. If prefer it medium, with less pink, keep it on the grill until the internal temperature registers around 135 degrees, but cooking it much longer will give you dry pork.

Let the roast rest about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cutting board, keeping the juices on the serving platter. While the pork is resting, gently reheat the sauce, if serving on the side.

Carve the pork into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange on the platter, spooning any accumulated the juices over the meat. Season the slices lightly with salt. Toss a few fresh blackberries or fresh rosemary pieces onto the platter, if desired.

If serving the blackberry sauce at the table, either pour it in a thick ribbon over the pork slices or serve on the side.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From recipe developer and cookbook author and editor Martha Holmberg.

Tested by Ann Maloney.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (6)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 396

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 150mg 50%

Sodium: 394mg 16%

Total Carbohydrates: 19g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 14g

Protein: 52g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle