Roast Pork with Tomato and Tarragon Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Cooking for Christmas

Cooking for Christmas

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1978

  • About

If you like to have a joint of pork at Christmas, it can be enormously enhanced by an interesting sauce instead of the usual brown gravy. This rich tomato sauce is no trouble to make but adds greatly to the succulence and flavour of the meat.


  • 1 3-4 lb (1.2-1.6 kg) joint pork on the bone
  • 3-4 cloves garlic - chopped finely
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sunflower or groundnut oil
  • salt, black pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 large glass red wine
  • 2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) French mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml spoon) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (2 x 5 ml spoon) dried tarragon
  • juices from the meat
  • 1 dessertspoon (10 ml spoon) cornflour
  • salt, black pepper


Make deep incisions in the meat and poke the chopped garlic in as far as you can. If not already done by the butcher, score the thick fat closely with a sharp knife. Mix the lemon juice and twice as much oil with salt and black pepper in a cup and smear all over the meat. Put the joint in a roasting pan and if possible cover the meat with foil.

Leave for at least two hours at room temperature, spooning the juices over the meat again once or twice.

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 9/475°F/240°C. Remove foil from the meat. Rub the scored fat with salt and a little extra oil (this should produce golden crisp crackling) and roast at the high heat for 20 minutes, then turn down the oven to Gas Mark 3/325°F/160°C and cook for a further 2-2¼ hours.

Before the meat is quite ready, put the tomatoes, wine, mustard, sugar and tarragon into a saucepan. Blend the cornflour until smooth with a little water and add to the mixture. Bring to the boil, stirring, and bubble for 2-3 minutes. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

When the meat is ready, pour the excess fat from the pan and add the meat juices to the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick add a little more wine or water. Pour the sauce into a serving jug and pour over the meat when carved.