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Kitchen MacGyver: Lamb-free Easter

I don’t like lamb—gamey meats are unappetizing to me, so I buck tradition and have a lamb-free Easter each year. Grilled pork loin makes a wonderful substitute for lamb, and if you’re savvy enough with a knife to remove the silver skin and other fatty bits before you marinate the loin (or just ask your butcher to do this for you), you’ll get a lean white-meat protein with versatile leftover options. Of course, any calories and fat I might save from eating lean pork over lamb chops are usually spent other places, like the Easter candy basket, where I toss aside those cute marshmellowy canary chicks (I’d rather starve than eat Peeps) and go straight for the dietary demise that Reese’s peanut butter eggs offer.

Serve the grilled pork and maple apple chutney with your favorite sides—the flavors in the marinade and chutney pair well with simple dishes like mashed sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables, rosemary focaccia, or grilled asparagus.

Grilled Garlic and Rosemary Pork Loin


2 1 lb. pork tenderloins

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine (I like Robert Mondavi’s 2008 Chardonnay for this, but use what you like to drink)

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, whisk together olive oil, wine, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Place lamb loins in a large casserole dish or on a baking tray and pour the mixture over the loins. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 3 hours. Remove loins from refrigerator and set out on counter for 15-20 minutes before you grill the meat.

Prepare grill—if using a gas grill, heat to medium; if using charcoal, you’ll want to cook meat away from the hottest coals. Transfer pork to grill and cook for 8 minutes on one side, flip and baste with remaining marinade and cook on other side for 6 to 10 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the loin and remove from grill when thermometer reads 140-145 degrees F. Put loins on a plate and tent with foil—the loins will continue to cook while they rest, but shouldn’t be overdone. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving with maple apple chutney.

Maple Apple Chutney

4 gala, pink lady or red delicious apples, cored and cubed

splash of white wine

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground ginger

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add wine, syrup, salt, ginger, lemon zest and juice and rosemary to pot and bring to a boil. Add apples and reduce heat to medium. Simmer mixture for about 12-15 minutes, or until apples are tender and the liquid has reduced by about half.

Sabrina Grotewold is a senior editor for Competitor. Christened the Kitchen MacGyver by her husband, she’s determined to persuade people to eat their veggies.