Roast rack of herb rubbed pork
( SERVES 8 )
A whole roast rack always looks very impressive on the festive table, especially if it is carved in front of the family. Ask your butcher to order one in for you — they may also remove the chine and “french” the bones (that’s when they are cleaned up all ready to go). Sweet sharp cherries and a festive slaw will go perfectly with this roast pork, crackling and gravy. You might like to also steam a few new season potatoes to go on the side with some grilled asparagus too.
Herb rubbed pork
|2 kgs||pork rack roast, (or boneless pork loin)|
|1||Lemon, zest only|
|1 tsp||crushed black peppercorns|
|½ tsp||Juniper berries, crushed and chopped|
|2 Tbsp||Fresh sage, chopped|
|2 Tbsp||Fresh thyme, chopped|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
- Start preparing the pork the day before. Remove the skin from the pork rack, lay it flat and score, taking care not to cut too deeply. Score the fat on the pork (so the flavours can be absorbed). Mix the zest, salt, pepper, juniper, herbs and oil together then rub all over the rack. Place pork and skin on a cooling rack set on a tray. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before roasting.
- Position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat to 210C. Season pork skin with salt, roast rack and skin for 15 minutes then reduce the heat to 180C and cook for 30-40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the centre of the roast registers 60C. Set the pork aside to rest for 20 minutes. Cut the crackling into bite size pieces. Keep warm.
- For the roast gravy, pour off the excess fat from the pan, leaving any dark pan juices behind. Place pan over medium heat and stir in 3 Tbsp flour, gradually add 1-1½ cups boiling water, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the base of the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Strain the gravy into a jug and set aside.
Make one day in advance.
Bring sugar, lemon juice, water and cardamom to the boil in a small saucepan, add cherries and simmer on low for 2 minutes. Allow cherries to steep in the pickling liquid. Once cool, store in the fridge.
Prepare ingredients a day or two in advance. Keep covered in the fridge. Mix on the day.
In a large bowl mix olive oil, vinegar, molasses, ginger and garlic. Add cabbages, pomegranate, spring onion and mint. Mix well through the dressing, place on a platter or in a salad bowl, then sprinkle over almonds and pumpkin seeds. Garnish with extra mint leaves.
See more of Geoff Scott's Christmas dinner recipes