Roasted Rack of Pork with Winter Vegetable

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This dish could not be any easier.  You cook the meat, vegetables and potatoes all together in one pan at the same time.  You end up with a delicious and brilliantly executed dish.  If your Rack of Pork is cooked to the temperature suggested and the vegetable and potatoes are not done, remove the pork from the pan and continue to cook the vegetables in the oven until perfectly cooked.  The veggies and potatoes should be a bit on the soft side;  not mushy but soft.

When ordering your Rack of Pork tell the butcher you want the cut of meat that is used for the Crown of Pork and be sure to tell him not to cut through the meat to make it in a shape of a crown.  You want it to be the same cut as a Prime Rib of Beef.  Sometimes the butcher in a big box store has no idea what you are talking about when you tell him you want a Rack of Pork.  Just be very specific in what you are ordering.  If you have to, show him the picture.  Also you must tell the butcher to remove the chine bone.  If it is not removed you will not be able to cut through the rib.  The chine bone is the long piece of solid raggedy edged bone running the length of the rack.  When it comes time to slice, you will be able to easily slice the rack into 8 chops or you can carve the meat off of the rib bones first and then slice.  The meat next to the bones is the tastiest and is a favorite with everyone.

I prefer to brine the pork as brining insures the most tender and moist Rack of Pork.  Brining is simple and worth doing.Roasted Rack of Pork

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Roast Rack of Pork with Winter Vegetables

Serves 8

For the Brine

1/2      Cup Coarse Sea Salt or Kosher Salt (Neither is Iodized)

1/2      Cup Granulated Sugar

3          Bay Leaves, Broken in Half

2          Teaspoons Whole Black Peppercorns

2          Teaspoons Fennel Powder

6          Garlic Cloves, Smashed

1          8 Bone Rack of Pork (About 7 Pounds), Chine Bone Removed

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1          Tablespoon Coarse Sea Salt

2          Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2          Teaspoons Garlic Powder

2          Teaspoons Fennel Seed Powder

1          Pound Purple Peruvian Potatoes,, Cut In Half Crosswise

2         Medium Sweet Potatoes, Peeled and Cut into 6 or 8 Chunks

4         Medium Size Yukon Gold Potatoes, Skin Left On and Cut into Quarters

1          Large Red Onion, Thinly Sliced

8         Large Carrots, Peeled and Cut Crosswise on an Angle ¼” Thick

4         Turnips, Peeled and Quartered

4         Parsnips, Peeled and Cut Crosswise on an Angle 1/4″ Thick

¼       Cup Whole Garlic Cloves, Peeled

1 1/4  Cups XVOO

1         Cup White Wine

2         Cups Homemade Chicken Stock or Low Sodium Canned Chicken Broth

In a large pot such as a Dutch oven combine the salt, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic with 2 cups water.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add 4 cups ice cubes and six cups of cold water to the pan.  Set into the refrigerator until completely chilled.  Add the Rack of Pork being sure it is completely covered with water.  If you have to add more water to cover don’t hesitate to do so.  Place the pan with the pork and the brine in the refrigerator and brine the meat for at least 6 hours and up to no longer than 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°.

After the brining time, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.  Bring the meat to room temperature before roasting, about 30 minutes.  Discard the brine.

In a large roasting pan, place the potatoes, carrots, onion, turnips, parsnips and garlic and toss with 1 cup of the XVOO, sprinkle with half of the sea salt and half of the pepper.  Toss to combine.  Place the pork rack in the pan and pour the rest of the XVOO over the meat.  Sprinkle the rack with the rest of the salt, pepper, all of the garlic powder and fennel seed powder and rub the spices all over the meat including the sides.  Pour the cup of wine over the vegetables.

Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring the vegetables around every 20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer registers 145° when placed in the center of the pork rack.  Remove from oven and transfer meat and vegetables to a platter.  Loosely cover with foil to keep warm.  Let the meat rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

Discard the oil and fat in the pan and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock.  Scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan to make a great pan sauce.  You can serve as is or strain for a more refined sauce.

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