Celebration Pork Rack Stuffed with Dried Fruits

porkcircus

From Chef Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow & Revival
Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 Loaf bread, white crusts removed (I used Challah)
1 Large onion, white
2 Tbls bacon drippings
4 tsp salt, Kosher
1/2 tsp ginger, ground
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp mace
1 Each pork, 6-bone rack, 4 lbs each center cut, frenched
2 Large egg white
1/3 Cup cream, heavy
1 Tbls sage leaves finely chopped
1 Cup fruit, mixed, dried diced apricots, currants, etc. (I used the TJ’s Golden berry mix and added Dried Apricots)
1/2 Cup stock, chicken, low-sodium or ham broth

Tools Needed:
Cuisinart DLC-10SY Pro Classic 7-Cup Food Processor, White

Directions:
Heat the oven to 325°F. Cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes; you should have about 2 1/2 cups cubes. Toast the bread cubes on a baking sheet until crispy, about 8 minutes. Leave the oven on.

Finely dice 1/2 cup of onion and sauté with 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. You should have about 1/4 cup sautéed onions. (You’ll use the remaining onion later.)

Combine 2 teaspoons of the salt, the ginger, cinnamon, and mace in a small bowl.

Lay the pork rack bone side down on your cutting board and carefully slice down, across the bones toward the meat, leaving the meat intact in one piece; you’re basically unrolling and slicing the meat to a 1-inch thickness. When you get to the eye, continue slicing about an inch in until the eye is about 2 inches in diameter, and then cut it out. Remove the pork eye and finely chop it.

In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the chopped pork eye, egg whites, cream, and the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and process to a smooth, sticky paste, about 2 minutes. Add the sautéed onions and sage and pulse just to combine. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the toasted cubed bread and dried fruit. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon bacon fat in the skillet for later use.

Spray a roasting pan and roasting rack with nonstick spray. Sprinkle the pork rack and meat with the seasoning mix, coating both sides. Starting just where the meat starts on the bones and using about half the stuffing mix, spread a thin but complete layer of the stuffing over the rack and meat. Lightly brush with some of the melted bacon fat. Starting at the meat end of the rack, gently and lightly roll the meat back onto the bones, being careful not to squish the stuffing out the ends.

Using butcher’s twine, tie the rack, wrapping between the bones and around the end. Brush the rack on all sides with some of the melted bacon fat.

Brush a deep 2-cup baking dish with some of the melted bacon fat; place the remaining stuffing in the dish and brush the top with bacon fat; bake until cooked to an internal temperature of 150°F, about 30 minutes.

Coarsely chop the remaining onion, spread in the center of the prepared roasting pan under the roasting rack, and place the pork roast bone side down on the roasting rack, over the onions. Roast to an internal temperature of 145°F, about 1 hour. Remove the roasting rack from the pan and place over a plate to catch any juices that run off the pork as it cools.

Place the roasting pan over medium-high heat, add the ham broth, and, using a wooden spoon, stir the pan drippings and onion to deglaze the pan. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Strain the sauce and discard the solids.

Let the pork rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Stir any accumulated juices into the sauce. Slice the rack into 1-bone chops and serve with the pan sauce and a scoop of the baked stuffing on the side.

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