Bret saw a rack of pork at Costco several weeks ago, thought it looked really good, and brought it home to see what we could do with it. It looked awfully fancy to me, what with the row of exposed ribs just waiting for those little toque blanche (little white chef hat thingies) to be popped on them. Well, since we only had one rack we really couldn’t make the “crown” as it needed a much larger rack, so I began scouring the internet for a recipe that sounded good and do-able. I stumbled across askchefdennis.com and found a fantastic recipe for the pork which included ingredients we already had on hand. Great! Here we go with our first rack of anything adventure.
We found the appropriate pan along with a rack, scrounged through our vegetables to see what we could roast along with it, oiled and rubbed the rack and popped it in the oven according to instructions. The rub made a delicious crust!
Sorry, no toques available for the rib bones – they had to go bare this time. Except for a few of the ingredients (didn’t have fresh garlic, no onion on Bret’s request and no celery), we went fairly strictly by the cooking instructions. I had some yellow squash, so added it to the vegetables the last hour of cooking, since squash cooks more quickly than the other vegetables. The result was an awesome pork rack and great roasted vegetables! Each chop was thick and juicy and the rack provided eight chops which we spread over four different meals. We looked at each other after several bites the first night and agreed that this was the best homemade meal we had ever made! I would’ve paid big bucks at a restaurant for this.
It was much easier than I ever thought and we will definitely keep this in our menu rotation. If you can’t find the pork racks at Costco (sometimes they’re seasonal), ask your butcher to special order or try Central Market.
- 1, 8-bone center cut rack of pork
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 2 carrots rough cut
- 1 small onion rough cut and include skins
- 2 stalks of celery rough cut
- 6 cloves garlic peeled
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a roasting pan, add your rough cut vegetables.
Rinse the rack of pork well and pat dry.
Place rack fat side up, on top of cut veggies
Apply liberal amount of olive oil, rubbing it into the meat.
Sprinkle entire rack with sea salt, pepper and then with an extra coating of Montreal Steak Seasoning (use a good amount of Montreal seasoning, forming a light crust).
Place pan in preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes reduce heat to 325 and continue to roast for approximately 2 hours or until internal temperature on the outside of the racks has reached 160 degrees. This will ensure the outside cuts of the pork are done while the center cuts are not cooked quite as much.
Remove the rack from the oven, placing on a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing the meat. This will allow all the juices to remain in the rack, rather than have them run all over the plate, making the meat dry.
While the rack is resting, place 2 cups of water in the roasting pan and place on the oven and with a spoon loosen all the baked-in meat scraps from the pan, making your pan gravy.
Strain out all of the vegetable pieces and any residue.
Cut the rack along the bones, making even portions of the pork; serve with your pan gravy and your favorite sides.
Tips and Stuff:
Notes from Chef Dennis: When you remove a larger cut of meat from the oven it will continue to cook and the temperature of the meat will rise 10 more degrees. Pork can be eaten at lower temperatures than 165 degrees, but if your entire party would like the meat very well done, you can continue to roast the rack until the center cuts are 155 degrees.
My Notes: After the roasting was finished, I lifted the rack out in order to let it rest, and instead of adding water to the vegetables and straining, I put a pat or two of butter with the vegetables and mixed them along with the small amount of juice the pork had generated while cooking. It made perfect vegetables to serve with the pork. We only ate two chops at a time, so I wrapped the rest of the rack in foil and when we were ready to eat the next two chops, I cut them away from the rack, put them in foil in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes (check after 20 minutes). They didn't dry out, as the inside chops were less cooked than the outside chops from the original roasting.
Toques off to Chef Dennis for this recipe!