Roast Pork With Sage, Honey & Thyme

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Recipe update from December 2007, I’ve switched wild boar for more widely available pork shoulder…a favourite cut of mine as it’s affordable, forgiving and versatile. I’ve lost count of how many pork dishes I’ve made using pork butt.

Greeks eat alot of pork these days which wasn’t always the case. Souvlaki and Gyro are most commonly made of pork and the reasons could be that it was a cheaper meat than lamb or goat or tastier (or both). In a Greek-Orthodox calender, there’s a fast period leading up to Christmas and similar to the fasting period leading up to “Panagias” on August 15th, a feast of pork meat is indulged.

During the Christmas holidays we (Greeks) put more pork on our forks and for New Year’s Day, I wanted a big dinner that delivered on flavour without being complicated. Afterall, I was out with friends celebrating New Year’s Eve and the last thing I (or any cook) would want is to be fussing all day in the kitchen (read sofa time).

Wild boar is huge demand for the New Year’s Eve or Day’s dinner and you could certainly use that here but pork is more readily available to most and pork is fattier than boar – something that’s going to help turn this dish into a juicy piece of meat on your plate. Once again, pork butt (from the shoulder) comes to the rescue. I chose a bone-in shoulder that was sitting in a marinade of orange zest and juice, herbs, honey and vinegar and the result is feast fitting for the beginning of a new year.

Your first indication that this roast pork is going to be good is when you smell the sage, thyme and oregano coming from your kitchen. The second indication is when you uncover the meat and see that the pork shoulder has rendered, a little grey but its going to brown when you add the potoatoes and vegetables and roast uncovered until crisp and a brown colour Maillard would be proud of.  Pork butt has fat, renders and protects the meat from drying out. Delicious and tender morsels of meat enter your mouth and you smile as you’ve begun the year with a supreme Sunday dinner.


Roast Pork  With Sage, Honey & Thyme
(feeds 6)

1 pork butt, bone-in
1/3 cup olive oil

the juice of 1 orange
1/4 cup of Greek thyme honey

2 Tbsp. of red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. of mild mustard

2 Tbsp. of fresh sage (or 1 Tbsp. dry)

5-6 springs of fresh thyme

1 tsp. of dried oregano

3 Bay leaves

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 Tbsp. of coarse sea salt

2 Tbsp. fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 potatoes, peeled and quartered

3 medium onions, peeled and quartered

1 stalk of celery, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 pint of cherry tomatoes
(or 3-4 ripe tomatoes, quartered)
1 dried chili pepper

5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 Tbsp. of fresh chopped sage
1 1/2 cups of water

Preheated 400F oven

  1. Wash then pat-dry your pork and set aside. Using a large container or zip-lock bag, pour in your orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper and garlic. Mix well and and your pork. Seal and marinate for 2-3 hours before roasting.
  2. Cut up your vegetables and toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper and reserve in a covered bowl.
  3. After you’ve marinaded your pork, allow the meat to return to room temperature before roasting. Pour the marinating liquid over the meat and season  with salt and pepper then place the meat in a roast pan and roast covered for 90 minutes.
  4. Remove the pork from the oven and uncover and place the potatoes and vegetables around the pork and pour in the hot water and return to the oven for an additional 45 minutes or until meat has browned and the potatoes are crisp. Remove from the oven and spoon some of the pan juices over the pork and allow to rest for 25 minutes before carving. Serve with a Boutari Blue Fox Red.

© 2012,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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31 Comments for “Roast Pork With Sage, Honey & Thyme”



Your dishes always look wonderful, Peter! This one is no exception. Although I can’t find wild boar here, I think I can find a good substitute. If you lived by me and opened a restaurant, I think I would be in there every night!



Hi Peter, This is certainly a dish for the holidays. In fact during The Christmas holidays it’s easy to find wild boar. I love all the ingredients and I have learnt from you and Laurie to use sage, thyme and rosemary, which I rarely used before and they are wonderful. Thanks for your nice recipes. Χρόνια Πολλά, to your father.



Hi Peter,
I just received the spice package from you today. Thank you so much! I’m very excited about trying out the recipe. Ribs are a favourite of mine but I NEVER cook them at home.
It’s a bit crazy over here at the moment and I’m off to France in a couple of weeks ski-ing so I’m going to keep this dish until January. It’ll be a great dish to kick start the new year!
Great blog, by the way.

Peter M


Maryann, pork shoulder or shanks will work just fine.

Elly, try this out…it’s very Greek!

Ivy, Greeks should embrace these herbs, they are all “ntopia” to Greece and very flavourful.

Wendy, Phew! I was worried the aroma was going to be suspicious but I’m happy you got the package. Enjoy the ribs!



I love wild boar! The only time I get it is when we visit our friend in Spain. One on the locals usually gives him a half of a boar for Christmas. Great sounding stew…I may just have to make it with pork!
(And maybe some red cabbage…)



Oh man, now you’ve done it. I already have your gigantes recipe printed out and have been waiting to recover from an annoying cold that has me unable to smell or taste anything to make them. And now you’ve got me craving wild boar . . . my favorite of all meats. Ever. I can’t wait any longer . . . Will I ever taste again?



Peter (said in whisper) :) I’ve never had wild boar before but I can just imagine how great this dish must taste. I’ll give it a try sometime with pork.

Bellini Valli


I’m with Maryanne on the restaurant deal.I would be at your restaurant every night as well. Living in the west I don’t think we have any wild boar. I wonder if other than a nice pork roast you could substitute venison?

Peter M


Val, I used farm raised boar and I think a pork is a fine sub.

Venison is a lean meant and your end result could be dry.



Peter, I would also be a good client of your restaurant… plane tickets should be cheaper, though… I just love wild boar and your dish looks delicious as all your recipes do! I wish we could get the flavours and smell through pixels… wouldn’t that be great?



Peter summer is nearby too here.Lovely post . These day I saw in a gourmet channel a travel into your country whit the tastes and flavours of Greece,and I fall in love for your sunny country.You eat so healthy and natural. I was impress.
Sage and honey are fabulous combo. I must try this recipe.



You’re killing me with this Peter! I’m going to dream about this stew until I make it. No wild boar in the area so I’ll use a pork shoulder as you suggest. Can’t wait!



Peter, this sounds so good! I have bookmarked this. It looks like the perfect Sunday afternoon meal. I, of course, won’t find boar, but I think I can find a shoulder or two.

Laurie Constantino


Now that is one absolutely beautiful piece of meat! Is that you up against Alexander the Great??


Peter…I love this dish! And the picture is so vivid and beautiful! You have inspired me to try my winter roasts again !

fani katri


good morning from Larissa Greece .just perfect i made it yesterday for tsiknopempti – you know –

and we love it!!!!!!