Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Almond Crusted Rack of Pork with Apple-Currant Puree

Almond Crusted Rack of Pork with Apple-Currant Puree
So today, after getting our first heavy snowfall for the winter season, I decided try my hand at cooking pork. I usually never cook pork besides pre-cooked ham or bacon. My mom loves to buy stuff that are at a good price or is interesting but the problem is, half the time she does not know how to cook it. This time, she bought a fresh rack of pork with six sections (almost spelled 'sextions' lol). So, inspired by Gordon Ramsay and his 'Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb' preparation, I applied a similar method to the rack of pork in my fridge. Surfing the web for other inspirations, I came across a few crusting recipes, one of which was almonds. I tweaked the recipe to my own taste and decided to make a tart/sweet sauce to go with the pork. I chose apple as the fruit because from my knowledge, apples pair great with pork (plus it's a little something different for my house hold). Served with sweet potato mash and wine-spiked boiled broccoli.

Rack of Pork
1 rack of pork with six sections
2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp pepper (or more to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil

Divide up the rack into three portions, each wielding two sections. Score fatty side (remove skin if any). On a plate, season with salt and pepper and evenly rub it in on all sides. Heat oil in a skillet or pan and brown all sides. Place on a greased baking sheet in oven and bake at 275 degree Celsius for 15-22 minutes.

1 cup almonds (blanched)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp dry thyme

In a food processor or blender, pulse all ingredients together until well combined and almonds is coarsely blitzed (not into a paste but like course crumbs.) Pour on a shallow plate and set aside.

Sweet Potato Mash
3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
5 tbsp cream

In a pot, bring water and salt to a boil and add in both potatoes. Boil until potatoes crumble when poked with a fork. Drain into a coriander and let cool. Mash with a whisk of potato masher. Whisk in butter and cream. Set aside.

Apple-Currant Puree
Instead of making my own apple puree, I bought unsweetened applesauce because I was tight for time.
1 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce (reserve 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup dried black currants
1/2 cup white wine**
5 tbsp real maple syrup
1 tsp salt

Hydrate currants in white wine for 10 minutes. In a sauce pan or skillet, heat 1 cup apple sauce on medium heat. Increase heat and add in currant and wine combo; simmer until alcohol burns off. Add in maple syrup and salt to taste.

Wine Blanched Broccoli
1 cup water
1 cup white wine**
3 tsp salt
1/2 cup broccoli

Bring water,salt and wine to simmer and add in broccoli. Simmer until broccoli is just tender. Take broccoli out of the hot water and emerge in cold ice water for 1 minute to stop cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Back to to the rack (of pork)
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Bush portions with apple sauce and then coat with the almond mixture. Place onto a clean baking sheet and broil pork in oven at 300 degree Celsius until crust is browned, turning portions occasionally to evenly brown all sides. turn off heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide sections and serve. Makes three servings, two sections for each person.


**I used Naked Grape White Wine


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