Pork Roast with Cardamom Mushroom Sauce

Brined pork loin, roasted with an onion cardamom crust and served with a mushroom cream sauce.

Pork Roast Cardamom Mushrooms
Elise Bauer

There are two, no make that three, secrets to making an excellent pork roast.

The first is to brine the roast; brining helps the roast retain moisture when it cooks.

The second is to not overcook the pork. Take the roast out at 140 to 145°F; the internal temperature will still continue to rise 5 or 10 degrees. Much higher and you have shoe leather.

The third tip is to pair the roast with a wonderful sauce, as pork is rather mild and fares well with a good sauce.

Okay, now that we've established the fundamentals, this pork roast with a cardamom onion crust and mushroom sauce is I think, the best pork roast I've ever had.

Pork Roast Cardamom Mushrooms
Elise Bauer

Much of this has to do with the fact that the pork was brined overnight and it was cooked to a perfect temperature, the inside still a little pink. But the sauce really takes this roast out of this world.

Creamy, mushroom-y, cardamom-y.

The recipe is adapted from one in an old Bon Appetit. Who knew that cardamom would work so well in a mushroom cream sauce?

This savory sauce is one that I will be making again soon, perhaps next time over chicken breasts.

Pork Roast with Cardamom Mushroom Sauce

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 90 mins
Brining the roast 23 hrs
Total Time 24 hrs 45 mins
Servings 8 servings

This recipe is adapted from a November 2001 Bon Appetit recipe.



  • 3/4 cup coarse kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 gallon cold water

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper


  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped (about 2 medium sized onions), divided into 3 x 1/2 cups

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom, divided, 2 and 1/4 teaspoons

  • 1 large clove garlic

  • 1 4-pound center-cut boneless pork loin roast

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 cups chicken stock, divided, 1 cup and 1 cup

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoons butter, room temperature


  1. Brine the pork roast:

    Whisk together the salt, sugar, and water until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved. Add the pepper.

    Submerge pork in the brine solution and chill for 1 to 2 days. Note that thick, gallon-sized freezer bag is great for brining; if you use one, you probably only need half as much brine solution. Even if you are using a bag, place in a bowl just in case the bag leaks.

    Rinse the roast thoroughly of the brine solution before cooking, pat dry.

  2. Preheat oven to 350°F
  3. Make onion garlic cardamom rub:

    Purée 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground cardamom, and garlic in a food processor or blender.

  4. Rub roast with onion purée, surround with mushrooms and onions in roasting pan:

    Toss remaining 1 cup of chopped onion with mushrooms and 4 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Place pork roast in the center of the roasting pan. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper. Rub roast with onion garlic purée. Surround the roast with mushrooms and onions.

  5. Roast pork, remove mushrooms, add broth and water:

    Roast pork 1 hour at 350°F. Remove from oven after one hour and remove the mushrooms, placing them into a large saucepan.

    Add 1 cup stock and 1/2 cup water to roasting pan.

    Return roast to oven and roast pork until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 140°F-145°F, about 15-20 minutes longer. Transfer pork to platter; tent with foil.

  6. Make mushroom cream sauce with pan drippings:

    Scrape the drippings from the roasting pan into the pan with the mushrooms. Add the cream, remaining cup of stock, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom to pan; bring to boil. Blend flour and butter in small cup; mix into mushroom sauce.

    Cook the sauce, stirring often, until reduced enough to coat spoon. Season sauce with salt and pepper; serve with pork.

Recipe (barely) adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
358 Calories
23g Fat
19g Carbs
20g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 358
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 2076mg 90%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 668mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.