Most wanna-be chefs are familiar with rack of lamb – a great entrée for a fine Sunday dinner. And who doesn’t relish a standing rib, beef roast? But fewer chefs experiment with another great cut of meat – rack of pork.
On a typical stroll along the meat aisle at the local grocer, seldom do you see a rack of pork. Yet, one day I did. It looked fantastic, and it was on sale, so I bought it.
Preparation was fairly simple. I have found that for a good cut of meat, few seasonings are necessary. Just salt and pepper (lots of both) and perhaps a clove of garlic brushed across the surface. So that’s how I seasoned my pork. The cooking part, though, is critical. For years, folks were warned to cook pork thoroughly, lest you get something called trichinosis. Let’s take a survey. Everyone who knows someone has contacted trichinosis, raise their hands. That’s what I though. Me either. So now, modern chefs are cooking pork slightly pink. This keeps the flavor and juices intact.
Since a rack of pork will not generally be available, ask in advance that your butcher cut your roast. The average rack will have about 8 ribs and will easily serve a party of four.
To cook my pork roast, I allowed it to rest it on the counter for a forty-five minutes at room temperature, then I put it in a 450 oven for about 10 minutes. Next, I cut back the heat to 325 and cooked the rack for another hour. When the internal temperature reached 155, I took it out of the oven and let it rest again. Ordinarily, a cut of meat like that will continue to cook and will end up about 10 degrees more than when you first took it out. So watch the temperature carefully. If everyone insists on truly well-done pork, take it out at 160 degrees. The meat will have a delightful au jus, and other than garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green beans, that’s all you will need to compliment what is easily the finest cut of pork there is.
1 Rack of Pork (8 to 10 ribs)
Coarsely ground pepper
1 Clove garlic
Cook 10 minutes at 450
Cook an additional hour at 325