Originally recorded in England in 1390, this recipe (called Cormarye) is still luscious. Clever cooks who wanted to spare the expense of fashionable but costly spices from distant lands (especially on lowly pork) made use of aromatic seeds that can be grown in the temperate gardens of Old and New England—coriander and caraway. Paired with garlic and red wine and crispy roasted pork fat, the flavors are unbeatable. A dedicated über-locavore could substitute a local hot dried pepper for the black pepper and have an entirely local knockout of a dish.


“take loynes of Pork rawe and fle of the skyn,”

– from The Forme of Cury, 1390.


Take Colyandre, Caraway smale grounden, Powdour of Peper and garlec ygrounde in rede wyne, medle alle þise togyder and salt it, take loynes of Pork rawe and fle of the skyn, and pryk it wel with a knyf and lay it in the sawse, roost þerof what þou wilt, & kepe þat þat fallith þerfro in the rosting and seeþ it in a possynet with faire broth, & serue it forth witþ þe roost anoon.

Cormarye (Roast Loin of Pork) recipe from The Forme of Cury, 1390.

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • tablespoons red wine
  • 1 bone-in pork loin roast, 3 to 4 pounds
  • 1/2 cup chicken or other broth or water

With a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, reduce the coriander, caraway, and pepper to coarse powder. Add the garlic and salt, and continue to mash together. Work in the red wine.

Slather this paste all over the pork loin. If you are in a hurry, allow it to come to room temperature thus; say, an hour or two. If you have the time, close it up in a container or zipper-lock bag and refrigerate up to 2 days (bring to room temperature before roasting).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the meat in a roasting pan that just fits it, bone-side down. (If you have a boneless roast, use a rack if you have one, and set the roast fat side up.) Pop it in the oven, immediately turning the temperature down to 325 degrees. Roast the pork for 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Place pork on heated platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest 30 minutes, while you get everything else ready.

Scrape off the pan drippings into a measuring cup. (Deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine or water if anything is stuck on and crusty.) Spoon excess fat from the top of the drippings. (Save for frying up something delicious.) Put the drippings and the broth in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Taste for seasoning, and keep warm until time to serve. Slice the pork in thin slices and serve with the sauce. Roast Pork Loin with Luscious Old Rub

– P.M

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