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Roasted rack of pork with spiced apple and pear sauce
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Pork rack is a wonderful cut, leaner and quicker to cook than belly or shoulder. Roast it either on a rack, as in this recipe, or over roughly chopped root vegetables (swede, carrots, celeriac and potatoes), which soak up the roasting juices and taste great served alongside.
1kg rack of pork
fine sea salt, to season
APPLE & PEAR SAUCE
1 bramley apple (about 250g), peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks
2 ripe pears (about 350g), peeled, cored and cut into 2cm chunks
50g golden caster sugar
20g fresh root ginger, finely grated
2 star anise
100ml dry cider
30g unsalted butter
1. Preheat the oven to 240˚C, gas mark 9. Go over the scores in the skin of the pork with a sharp knife, and create a few more if you like, then rub salt into the cuts to season. Put the pork on a rack in a roasting tin lined with baking parchment and pour 200ml water into the tin; roast for 20-30 minutes. (This helps the crackling start to crisp.) Once the skin has puffed up and begun to turn golden, reduce the heat to 160˚C, gas mark 2, and cook for 50 minutes-1 hour, or until cooked through with no pink meat remaining; a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the joint should read 68-70˚C.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put the apple, pears, sugar, ginger, star anise and cider in a heavy-based pan. Cover, put over a medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the fruit softens and starts to break down. Uncover and simmer briskly for 6-8 minutes until the liquid is reduced and the fruit is very tender. Take off the heat, season and add the butter, roughly crushing the fruit with a fork. (Or blend into a smooth sauce, removing the star anise first.) Keep warm until ready to serve.
3. Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes, loosely covered with foil. If you’d like to make a gravy, skim any excess fat from the roasting tin with a spoon, then remove the baking parchment, scraping any sticky bits into the tin. Add 50-100ml water and simmer over a medium heat until it reaches the desired consistency; season. Carefully remove the string from the pork, trying to keep the crackling intact. Either carve straight through the crackling and the meat together or, with a sharp knife, remove the crackling in one piece and break it into pieces to be served alongside the meat. Serve with the sauce, the gravy (if made) and a good dollop of mustard, if liked.
This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, October 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in September 2019.