Elizabethan Roast Pork with Raisins and Rosemary Stuffing, and Apple Sauce (download printable PDF)

This dish would have been eaten as a feast in the fall when pigs would be butchered and apples harvested. Due to the amount and variety of spices, sugar was considered a spice at this time; this is also a dish to show off one’s wealth.


4 lb. shoulder or leg of pork
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary
2 eggs
2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
3/4 cup raisins
7/ 8 cup single cream
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground mace
2 tsp. white granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
pinch of crushed saffron strands
Fresh ground black pepper
Apple sauce (see recipe below)


knife and cutting board
measuring cup
measuring spoons
small bowl
mixing bowl
wooden spoon
trussing needle
roasting pan with rack
aluminum foil
carving knife
serving plate

This dish is seasoned to taste. Line the bottom of the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Remove the rind, excess fat and gristle, and bone, so that it leaves a tunnel in the meat. The butcher can do all this for you. Separate the eggs into a small bowl. Remove the crusts from the bread and make the breadcrumbs. Place in the mixing bowl half the breadcrumbs along with the rosemary, raisins, egg yolks, half the cream, nutmeg, mace, and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix well. Spoon the stuffing into in meat. Using the back part of a spoon, press the stuffing well into the center of the tunnel from both sides of the opening. Make sure the tunnel is completely full. Using a trussing needle, sew up the opening on both sides of the tunnel with string. Using more string, neatly tie the stuffed roast into a solid rolled shape. The butcher might be able to do the stuffing and tying for you. The dish can be prepared up to this point in advance. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the roast in the roasting pan and place the pan in the oven. Roast the meat for 30 minutes per pound, plus an additional 30 minutes because of the stuffing. While the roast is cooking, place in a mixing bowl the remaining breadcrumbs and cream, along with the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, salt, and pepper. Mix well. 30 minutes before the roast is finished, remove it from the oven and press the mixture onto the top of it. It may be necessary to use wet fingers for this. Return the roast to the oven for the remaining 30 minutes of the cooking time. When the roast is done, remove it from the oven and let it stand 15 minutes before carving. This allows the stuffing to set. While the meat is standing, make the apple sauce. Carve the meat and serve it hot, along with the sauce.

For the Sauce


pan juices from the roasted pork
2 1/2 cups stock
2 large Granny Smith apples
2 to 3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh parsley
4 large fresh sage leaves
1 to 2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbs. butter
fresh ground black pepper


knife and cutting board
measuring cup
measuring spoons
food processor or grater
wooden spoon
gravy boat
gravy ladle

This dish is seasoned to taste. Make the stock. Good stock can be bought in the store. Chop the parsley and sage. Quarter and core the apples. Place the apples in a food processor and finely chop them or coarsely grate them with a grater. Skim the fat off the pan juices and strain the juices into a measuring cup. Add enough stock to make a total of 2 1/2 cups liquid. The dish can be prepared up to this point in advance. Place the liquid and the apples in a cookpot. Bring to a boil on the stove over medium heat. Boil 10 minutes or until the apples are soft. Add the vinegar, parsley, sage, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the butter to make the sauce smooth. Pour into the gravy boat and serve hot.