Rack of pork with fennel–garlic rub

Rack of pork with fennel–garlic rub

By
From
Meat
Serves
6
Photographer
Dean Cambray

Meat roasted on the bone has a sweeter, more intense flavour, and of course a roast rack always looks very impressive. I prefer to use a rack from a smaller animal, as it’s more elegant, so ask for a rack that weighs no more than 2 kg, with the chine bone removed.

One of the main points of this dish is the crunchy crackling. Rubbing the skin with a salty herb mixture helps, by drawing moisture out, but even more important is the scoring. Your butcher will probably oblige with this too, so ask him nicely to score through the skin and surface layer of fat at 1 cm intervals. Not only does this help with the crunch-factor, but scoring into the layer of fat encourages it to melt away during the cooking, and as it does, it bastes the meat, keeping it moist and tender.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 rib rack of pork, scored, (about 2 kg)
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
  2. Use a sharp knife to ‘french’ the bones, by neatly scraping away any skin, fat and meat from them – or ask your butcher to do this for you. You might also like to wrap the bones in aluminium foil, which will stop them burning. Place the pork on a rack inside a large roasting tin.
  3. Pound the remaining ingredients in a mortar or liquidiser to make a paste. Rub the pork all over with the paste, taking extra care to work it into the scored skin.
  4. Roast the pork at 220ºC for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 175ºC and roast for a further 1 hour. If you are using a meat thermometer, the pork is cooked when the internal core temperature reaches 72ºC.
  5. Transfer the cooked pork to a hot dish and leave it to rest for 20 minutes in a warm spot. Remove the foil from the bones and use a sharp knife to cut the rack into 6 thick chops, each with its own crisp layer of crackling. Serve with your choice of accompaniments.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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