Cherry chutney served over a grilled loin of pork. It’s an easy, delicious summer dinner, perfect for a weeknight dinner, but fancy enough for a dinner party, too.
It’s grilling season, so I’ve been throwing everything on the grill this year! This grilled loin of pork with cherry chutney is the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. I’ve had this recipe for cherry chutney for about 30 years. I took a food and wine pairing class in cooking school, and on one day we tasted, and learned about, chutneys, mustards, and a whole lot of condiments that didn’t fit into the “sauce” class.
Those classes involved a lot of tasting, discussing flavor combinations, and deciding which spices matched a particular cuisine. Our instructors gave us ingredients and basic instructions, but nothing further. The amounts were left ambiguous on purpose. It was our job as students to figure out the proportions, and in doing so, to create our own adaptations. Therefore, this recipe for cherry chutney is my interpretation of what I tasted, wrote down, and experimented with. I think chutney is a beautiful blend of spices, with the tang of vinegar and a little bit of sweet. Chutneys are ubiquitous in British cooking, yet oddly enough, missing from American cuisine. Though, not entirely. We serve a “chutney” of sorts at Thanksgiving, when we serve the sweet cranberry sauce with our savory turkey.
The British borrowed this delightful condiment from their occupation in India, and the combination of sweet and savory is not altogether an unusual pairing. Pork loin just seems to marry so well with a sweet counter-part. I’ve made Pork with Green Peppercorn Sauce and pork with apricots or prunes, so this cherry chutney was a new place to venture.
The thing I really like about chutneys is that the ingredients are fluid. Like a little more heat? Add a bit more cayenne. Prefer it a bit sweeter? Step up the honey. There really in no right or wrong way to make it. Each time I cook, unless I’m writing down specific recipes for you, I do not measure, but add and adjust the spices until I get it “just right”!
- Mix salt, pepper and paprika together.
- Rub on all sides of loin at least 30 minutes or more before grilling.
- If grilling, sear on all sides until internal temperature reaches between 150 degrees F.
- Let sit, loosely covered to let juices settle. Temperature will continue to rise.
- If cooking on the stove; heat an ovenproof skillet over a medium-high. Add olive oil to pan.
- Add pork and sear on each side, just until browned. Place pan in oven heated to 425 degrees F. and continue baking until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F.
- Let pork sit, covered for an additional 10 minutes.
I’ve measured ingredients for you in this recipe, but you should mostly rely on your own taste buds. I’ve used cardamom and garam masala as two of my spices, but if you’re not fond of cardamom, or you don’t have either spice on hand, try cinnamon instead, or a bit more clove.
Garam masala is a blend of spices typically used in Indian cooking. The blend contains pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin and cardamom pods. Feel free to adapt. With chutneys, I’m always sampling and adding spices until I find just the right combination to suit my palate. For the pork loin, I used a 1 1/2 pound loin, and rubbed it with a mixture of kosher salt, smoked paprika and black pepper. You can cook the pork on the grill, or sear it in a cast-iron skillet and finish it off it the oven. I prefer to pull mine when it’s still slightly pink, (yes, it’s safe to eat!) at around 150-155 degrees F. It also continues to cook a bit more as it sits. Since pork loin is so lean, I prefer not to over-cook it! Season the loin with the spice rub, and while you’re waiting for the grill to heat up, you can prepare the cherry chutney.
I hope you enjoy the cherry chutney grilled pork loin recipe!
- Combine first 5 ingredients, cherries through cider vinegar in a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer, turning heat to medium-low when mixture begins to bubble. Cook about 10-15 minutes, until fruit begins to soften and begins to thicken.
- Add Garam Masala, cloves, cardamom and red pepper flakes. Cook another minute or two until to blend in spices. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more honey or spices if necessary.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. If not using immediately, transfer to a container and refrigerate.
This cherry pitter is great for pitting olives too! (affiliate link for your convenience. I make a small percentage at no additional cost to you.)