Roast Rack of Pork


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Food I Love

By Neil Perry

Published 2005

  • About

‘The pig is our friend’, I once heard New York chef Mario Batali say. He is, of course, completely right. I guess he could not think of a world without cured pork products and I agree entirely. But there is also that other part of my life that couldn’t imagine pork not being in practically everything: my life cooking Asian food. So, although in the pursuit of eating a balanced diet I don’t eat pork every day, I could imagine myself doing so happily and I don’t think I could say that of any other meat. Pork has been the great workhorse of cuisine for a very long time. A lot of us consume pork in its many guises as a cured product but, unless you are eating Asian food, the pig doesn’t star too often as the centrepiece in a roast. This roast will change that. Find good pork with a decent amount of fat. Yes, fat is flavour and you shouldn’t shy away from it all the time. Have this dish occasionally but have it properly, with lots of crackling and a nice measure of creamy fat.

As you have a meat thermometer, you are going to be able to cook the pork perfectly. Most pork roasts usually end up dry, as fear of disease has often caused overcooking. You can rest assured that at 59°C (138°F) the parasite that is responsible for trichinosis is killed, so you can cook the pork to 75°C (167°F) without fear and still have pork that is moist and tender. If you have any trouble getting the crackling to work you can put some oil in a saucepan and heat to hot, almost smoking, then pour it over the pork when you remove it from the oven; the skin will bubble up. Make sure you buy good-quality young pork, as an older piece will be too large for one cutlet per person. Also, make sure the butcher removes the chine bone from the ribs, or carving will be difficult.