Pork cuts costs while maintaining elegance for the holidays

The holidays can be very stressful these days with the economy still badly injured and financial institutions  in a very wobbly state. Jobs are scarce and those still employed wonder if they'll be next on the chopping block. Families continue striving to stretch their dollars while maintaing their quality of life as best they can. Nowhere is that more apparent than with the food budget. The shopper continues to walk a tight rope in making sure that the holiday dinner will be as bountiful and special as in years past.

Prime Rib is too expensive, goose is out of the question, and turkey was too recent. What is the cook to do? How about distancing yourself from tradition and trying the other white meat? Pork can make an impressive centerpiece as an entree with a cut of Roast of Pork Rib Loin, inexpensive and yet so elegant as to make Prime Rib of Beef a bit jealous. The rib roast can be prepared as a "rack" roast or kicking it up a notch, combining two racks and creating a Crown Roast of Pork that will wow even your most discerning of guests. With a Crown Roast, one can fill the center with a melange of sauteed peas, pearl onions, and bacon (or lardon).

So as in keeing with the goal of maintaining simplicity in the kitchen, today you will learn to prepare the rack version of the Roast of Pork Rib Loin. When deciding how large a roast to purchase, count on one rib for the ladies and children, and two ribs for the men and hungrier guests. If you need to purchase two racks but don't want to do a crown, when ready to present, you can stand each rack on its "bottom" and have each rack lean on one another with the ribs crisscrossing each other.

First, start by preheating the oven at 400. You are going to want to sear your roast on all sides so as to lock in moisture and flavor; however, first prepare a rub that you will use before baking, with the following ingredients:

1/3 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
1 soup spoon of coarsely cracked ground pepper
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce

Mix 1/4 cup of the olive oil and all other ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Take the remainder of the olive oil and heat it in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, begin to sear the roast, reducing heat to medium. Sear on each side and ends about 2 minutes each. Once seared, remove roast and set in baking pan.  Do not discard the pan drippings as you will use that for your sauce. While it is cooling a bit, mixt the ingredients together very well. With a brush, coast the entire roast thoroughly. Transfer roast to oven, reduce heat to 350 and bake for 70 minutes for a 3 pound roast. If you are baking 2 racks side by side, you don't really need to increase the time too much because the thickness and size of each doesn't change; however, with that said, you may want to increase the time by 2 minutes per total weight to compensate for the volume. Play it by ear and 10 minutes before finished, using your fingers, push into the meat. If it doesn't sink in, it's done. Remember, pork has to be cooked closer to well done than to rare or medium rare. Medium well will usually be fine. If your oven heats hot, then decrease the times by 2 minutes per pound.

Once the roast is finished, remove and set aside so that juices set in. While roast is resting, return the frying pan with the drippings to the stove top over medium high heat. Add any juices that may remain from the baking pan to the frying pan. Deglaze the frying pan with 1 cup of dry white wine or non alcoholic apple cider, carefully scraping the bottom with a spatula. Reduce heat to low and allow sauce to reduce about 1/3. Next, add the following ingredients,

1 tablespoon of butter,
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Stir all ingredients very well and allow butter to completely melt. Taste for flavor. If you would like to add a little tanginess to your sauce, stir in a small teaspoon of Dijon mustard at the last minute and shut off heat. You may pour this sauce directly over the roast or ladle a couple of tablespoons over each serving. Just be sure to keep the sauce very hot.

There you have it, an alternative to tradition. It is a safe bet that your dinner guests will love this roast and will not miss the Prime Rib or the turkey at all. A baked potato or shoe string frites(fries) would work very well with this cut of meat, as would French cut green beans, steamed brussel sprouts, or sauteed peas and bacon in the vegetable side dish category. A chilled Riesling will pair very nicely. Have a wonderful holiday dinner party and remember, keep it simple in the kitchen and elegant in the dining room.


  1. omg my mouth is watering this look fabulous!

  2. This looks absolutely incredible!!! Yummmmmeeeee

  3. I think I will try making this for my family. TQ for the recipe

  4. You're right - this is a great alternative to some of the more expensive holiday meat/poultry options. What a beautiful dish!

  5. Yummy! This looks so good and delicious! Maybe I'll make this for Christmas.

  6. I have no issues with pork or any kind of meats for Xmas. Turkey or goose is a tradition but I have done a whole fish before as well :)
    This LOOKs FAB!

  7. oh pork is definitely affordable especially when buying a roast. That looks really delicious and flavorful

  8. Bonjour Nick
    bravo for the prok il est formidablement bien préparé !! à bientot Pierre

  9. Nick, I totally agree that pork can be as elegant as any other protein cooked for the holidays. Thanks for your perspective and recipe, for I love all things pork..