Rack of pork is an elegant dinner, perfect for special occasions, but easy enough to make for a special Sunday supper. The green peppercorn sauce is delicious and easy to prepare while the pork is resting.
For years and years our Christmas dinner was completely, traditionally English. Prime Rib, creamed horseradish, (the straight stuff too) Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, finished off with an English Trifle. One year we added several extra guests to the list and my Mom, who has never subscribed to the “family hold back” adage, decided to bring in two main courses for Christmas dinner.
Mom came up with a second Scandinavian Christmas menu featuring Roast Rack of Pork with Green Peppercorn Sauce, homemade spiced apples, and a delicious Braised Purple Cabbage. No, we’re not Scandinavian!
The Rack of Pork ended up beating the Prime Rib out by nose. I’m generally disappointed with pork loin because it’s been bred and trimmed to be so lean, it’s lost a lot of its flavor.
Rack of pork has a nice layer of fat on top, keeping it moist.
You can remove it after roasting if you’re so inclined. I choose not to “French” the bones, which means scraping them to make them look pretty. This recipe comes from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.
How to prepare rack of pork
You can have the butcher trim the bones. Remove some of the fat if you’d like. But I like to keep bit on to keep the meat moist. Prepare mustard and fennel rub and fennel rub. Spread the mustard over the rack and allow to sit overnight or at room temperature for a few hours.
Here’s the rack of pork recipe.
Rack Of Pork With Green Peppercorn Sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Allow the pork to come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Place the pork, fat side up in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it comfortably.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of each mustard, the ground fennel, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoons black pepper. Rub the mixture on top of the pork and roast for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board and cover tightly with foil for 20 minutes, while you make the sauce.
Green Peppercorn Sauce
- For the sauce, remove all but 1/4 fat from the roasting pan. If there isn't 1/4 cup, add enough butter to the pan to make 1/4 cup total.
- Over medium heat, whisk the flour into the fat and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock, remaining 2 teaspoons of each mustard, the green peppercorns, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoons black pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and slightly thickened.