Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mustard Herb Crusted Rack of Pork

What, you may ask, is a Rack of Pork? I bought this pork roast a month or so ago, not really even sure what cut of meat it was, except I knew it was done in the "French" style. All that "French" style means is that the meat has been cut away from the bones so that they are exposed. You most often see it done to a rack of lamb or lamb chops. However, this was, for sure, pork. I've cooked many a pork roast before (See my first post about pork roast HERE) but this was a totally different cut of meat. SO, I searched my way around several food and recipe sites yesterday, and after reading a bunch of recipes, this is what I came up with. Using the mustard to hold the herb crust in place added great flavor and cut out some of the fat - several of the recipes called for rubbing the top with olive oil. The fresh herbs were a real treat and I think the bed of vegetables under the pork added to the flavor. The presentation was lovely, and it tasted delicious. This a great alternative for those who say they don't care for lamb, and I know there are a lot of you out there. It looks great on the table and on the plate and it was a lot cheaper than Prime Rib of Beef, that is for SURE!
Mustard Herb Crusted Rack of Pork ready to serve

Mustard Herb Crusted Rack of Pork
serves 4 - 6
1  2.5 - 3 lb. rack of pork roast
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
1 carrot, cut in 1 inch chunks
1 rib celery, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 T. Whole Grain Garlic Mustard (We used the Kroger brand "Private Selection")
2 T. minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
2 T. of Kosher or Coarse Salt
2 T. coarse ground Black Pepper

The number of bones in the roast will determine the number of servings. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a sharp knife, score the fat on the top of the roast by shallowly slicing a few X's into the surface of the fat. This will allow the herbs to penetrate into the meat and flavor it. 
Pour the olive oil in the bottom of shallow metal roasting pan and spread it so that the middle of the pan is completely oil. Put the sliced vegetables on the oiled part of the pan in an even pile. Place the roast -  fatty side up -- carefully on top of the veggies and spread the mustard over the surface. Sprinkle the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper evenly over the mustard so that the top surface of the roast is covered. Gently pat the crust into the mustard so that it stays in place while roasting. 
Place the roast into the preheated oven and turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Roast for 20 - 22 minutes per pound or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the meat -- making sure not to touch a bone -- reads 145 degrees. This will yield a roast that still has a touch of pink at the bone. I know, I know, that's not the way your mom did it, and mine didn't either, but pork is a lot safer than it used to be. If you feel nervous about the pink, cook it for 25 minutes per pound but it will be a little drier than mine looks. 
Slice between the bones for each serving and top with a slice of the caramelized onion, if desired. I made some garlic mashed potatoes and a big salad to go with the pork. It was yummy, I promise. Give it a try for Easter or any time you want to make a festive and delicious meal. 
Mustard Herb Crusted Rack of Pork with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Salad 

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