Pork Loin Rack Roast

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with Brine and Calvados Pan Jus

Author: Recipe by Chef Anton Haines of Pacific’O

Number of Servings: 12-14

Ingredients for Brine:

It is a good idea to make this brine a day ahead, and refrigerate it. Do not add meat to warm brine, and don’t leave it in the brine longer than 24 hours, or it may become too salty. Makes one gallon — enough to brine a rack of pork.*

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
  • 12 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves, skin left on, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • about 3 large knobs of ginger
  • about 4 stalks lemongrass
  • about 2 ounces (1 large bunch) Italian parsley sprigs

* To make this brine for chicken, add grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons.

Ingredients for Pork Loin

  • 1 bone-in pork loin (7-8 pounds)
  • 1/2 pound Iberico or Serrano ham
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Ingredients for Calvados Pan Jus

  • 4 ounces shallots
  • 1 apple
  • 2 cups Calvados (apple brandy)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 ounces European-style butter*
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Directions: Brine Method
Combine all ingredients in a large pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and cool completely before using. Refrigerate pork in the brine for 6 hours or overnight. Rinse pork and pat dry before cooking.

Pork Loin Method
On the backside of the loin — the side without meat — make a cut down the middle of each bone. (Start two inches from the tip of the bone, and cut to the tip.) Using a kitchen towel, pry the meat away from the bone and cut the flap off. Cut and scrape any remaining meat off the bone, and wipe each bone clean.* Trim any excess fat and sinew. Wrap each bone individually with foil. Wrap pork loin with slices of ham, overlapping 1/4 inch as you go. Roast in oven at 300°F until thermometer registers 138°F. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes. Place loin meaty side down in medium-hot pan with 3 tablespoons butter. Cook until ham is crispy. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Reserve pan for sauce.

Calvados Pan Jus Method
Using the same pan the pork was cooked in, saute shallots and apples until lightly brown. Deglaze with Calvados; flambe by tilting the pan into an open flame or ignite using a stick lighter. (Keep face and hands well away from pan even when flames appear to have abated.) Reduce liquid by half. Add apple juice. Reduce by half. Add chicken stock. Reduce by two-thirds. Remove from heat. Whisk in cold butter. Season with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and white pepper.


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