I think rack of pork has to be one of my favourite roasts to cook. Our local Waitrose sells the most wonderful free range, Hampshire bred pork. It has a lovely flavour and is so succulent when done.
Tender and sweet, and oh so delicious!
Normally I would cook it with the crackling on . . . Todd loves it all crisp and crunchy . . . it's a real treat.
For this roast though you will want to cut the crackling off. You can roast it separately in the oven if you wish. Just rub it with a bit of sea salt and drizzle it with a bit of olive oil. It will be perfectly cooked, and it's quite easy to increase the temperature of the oven when you are done to give it a final blast of heat to really crisp it up after you take the roast out of the oven.
Pork and fennel go so well together. The fennel gets meltingly buttery along with the shallots and taste just wonderful.
The potatoes become moist and buttery on the inside, and crispy and browned on the outside.
All in all this is . . . quite . . . quite . . . delicious! Recipe adapted from the cookery book Apples For Jam, by Tessa Kiros. (My absolute favourite cookbook of all time!)
*Roast Rack of Pork with Fennel and Honey Mustard*
Serves 4 to 6
This may seem a bit fussy at first, but it's really quite simple and the flavours are beautiful. Have your butcher prepare you rack of pork by cutting it away from the bone, leaving it attached only at the bottom. Roasting with the bone adds extra flavour, although to be sure you can use a boneless pork loin if you wish.
1 kg pork loin rack, prepared as above (about 2.2 pounds)
2 springs of fresh rosemary
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut into wedges, and steamed for 5 to 7 minutes until crispy tender
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
4 banana shallots, peeled and cut in half
3 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed a bit
2 fresh bay leaves
4 ounces olive oil
4 ounces white wine or apple juice
4 ounces of water
4 fresh sprigs of sage
salt and black pepper to taste
2 TBS runny honey
1 tsp dry mustard powder
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Place the vegetables in a medium sized roasting tin. Season with some salt and pepper, turning to coat them. Place the rosemary springs in between the bone and the flesh of the pork roast. Set this on top of the vegetables. Season the roast all over with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the meat and vegetables and then pour the water and wine/juice around the base. Tuck 3 of the springs of sage into the vegetables along with the bay leaves. Place the last spring of sage on top of the roast.
Place in the oven and roast for 1 1/4 hours, basting the vegetables and meat with the juices several times. By the end of the cooking time the potatoes should be juicy and crispy on the outside, and the meat should be golden and cooked through.
Mix the honey and mustard together and spread this over the top of the roast. Return to the oven and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes until the fat on the meat is nicely glazed. Remove from the oven. Tent with some foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Cut the meat off the bone totally and cut the bone pieces between the ribs. Cut the meat into pork chop sized pieces. Place the meat in the centre of a platter along with the bones, and surround with the vegetables to serve. Drizzle some of the honey juices over all.