Danish Roast Loin of Pork (Svinesteg)

by Cat, Nov 2013 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

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See also: Brining PorkGlazed Pork Roast with Yams, Parsnips & PearsRoast Pork Tenderloin with Apples

Pork is very popular in Denmark, a low, flat country well suited for raising hogs. So, Mom being Danish, we ate a lot of pork when I was growing up: roast loin with dried fruit, grilled chops, and roast ham studded with cloves of clove through rings of pineapple or stewed dried apricots.

Because of its topography, Denmark is also a country that raises a lot of dairy animals, so that milk and cream are quite common ingredients in traditional Danish cuisine. This recipe is a perfect example.

As an adult, I don’t eat a lot of pork – maybe once a month – because I’m concerned about the parasites. I purchase pork at my local grocer when he buys 4-H pork raised by local farm kids; if I ate more pork, I would purchase a half-hog from a local farmer. Then I always freeze it for at least 14 days, to kill any parasites, before using. See sidebar, below for more.

Related recipes on other sites (see links in reference section below): 1. Tuscan Roast Loin with Yellow Potatoes, Fennel, & Parsnips; 2. Spice-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin; 3. Coriander-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin.

Danish Roast Loin of Pork (Svinesteg)

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking (1), by Ingeborg Dahl Jensen.  Wonderful for New Years Day or Easter Sunday dinner.  But like all older recipes, is a bit vague on the amount of ingredients–you must cook by feel with these recipes, which really is better in the long run.

Today (New Years Day, 2008) I am making this with stewed dried apricots and apples. I soaked the apricots for 2 hours, then started the stewing.  After 1 hour, I added the apples and stewed until done, 1 hour more.  I used  2 pork tenderloins (total 1.8 pounds) because tenderloin is smaller than a full loin, and takes less time to roast.  I brined it in sweetened salt water brine for 6 hours; placed fruit between the two tenderloins and tied them together.  The cream was from raw milk, but had just begun to sour.  This was excellent in the sauce.  I also used dry vermouth near the end of cooking, as instructed.  Excellent result!  Roast very moist and a nice level of saltiness.

I highly recommend brining, as it adds flavor, tenderness and juiciness to the meat.Pork info-box

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 5 pound loin of pork or 2 each 1.5 pound pork tenderloin
  • Unrefined Sea Salt (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • Apples, sliced (dried or fresh)
  • Prunes (dried & pitted), or other dried fruit
  • butter
  • cream
  • 1/2 – 1 cup red or white wine
  • roasting pan
  • cutting board
  • serving platter


  1. Brine pork (Refer to How to Brine Pork).
  2. Slit the pork loin lengthwise (if it is bone-in, have your butcher do it).  If using a pork tenderloins, skip this step).
  3. Fill cavity (or space between 2 pork tenderloins) with the fruit.  Tie or skewer the roast.  (NOTE: If you did not brine the meat, season it with unrefined sea salt and fresh ground pepper.)
  4. Brown on all sides in butter in a roasting pan.  Add a little water at first, then baste with as much cream as you need to keep the bottom of the pan moist.
  5. Simmer 15 – 25 minutes on top of the stove, uncovered.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 3000 F.
  6. Roast for desired time, depending on whether or not you brined the pork (see chart, below). Reduce heat to 2750 F.  Add wine and baste often for next 40 minutes, to internal temperature should be 140 – 1450 F (brined meat cooks faster).
  7. Remove roast to cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Recommended Cooking Times:

Brined meat:

  • Pork loin:  2 – 3 hours at 3000 F, then 40 minutes at 2750 F.
  • Tenderloin: 30 – 45 minutes at 3000 F, then 40 minutes at 2750 F

Not brined:

  • Pork loin:   2 1/2 – 3 1/2 hours at 3000 F, then 40 minutes at 2750 F.
  • Tenderloin: 45 – 60 minutes at 3000 F, then 40 minutes at 2750 F

Assembly or Serving Suggestions

  • Arrange slices on serving platter, surround with fruit, and pour sauce over all.
  • Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or baked yams, and braised Brussels sprouts or cabbage.


  1. Wonderful Wonderful Danish Cooking, by Ingeborg Dahl Jensen
  2. whatscookingamerica.net/Pork/BriningPork.htm
  3. www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1827,146170-241207,00.html
  4. www.finecooking.com/recipes/pork-tenderloin-apples.aspx

Related Recipes, Other sites:

  1. Tuscan Roast Pork with Yellow Potatoes, Fennel & Parsnips (finecooking.com/recipes/tuscan-roast-pork-yellow-potatoes-fennel-parsnips.aspx
  2. Spice-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin (finecooking.com/recipes/spice-crusted-roast-pork-tenderloin.aspx
  3. Coriander-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin (finecooking.com/recipes/coriander-crusted-pork-tenderloin.aspx)

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