Pork cuts costs while maintaining elegance for the holidays
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.