Rack of Pork with Cranberry Gastrique

By: Emmanuel Baiden

Many people love cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, but I have always thought It could be refined and even more delicious. My take on cranberry sauce is a gastrique, refined to bring this fine dining approach to the holiday table. Made with red wine vinegar and red wine to bring some acidity to the table which is usually a spread of heavy and fatty foods.

Serve the sauce along with this tender and juicy rack of pork with crispy skin.

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Ingredients

Apple Cider Brine

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup kosher salt (Diamond Crystal preferred)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 table spoon black peppercorns
  • 6 cloves
  • ½ gallon apple cider

Pork Roast

  • 1 Snake River Farm Kurobuta rack of pork Buy Now
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper

Cranberry Gastrique

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon dry red wine
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Apple Cider Brine

Bring the water, salt, sugar, thyme, peppercorns, juniper, garlic, bay leaves and cloves to a boil in a large pot.
Allow to boil until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat, add the apple cider and stir well. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Submerge the pork into the brine in a non-reactive container and refrigerate for 12-24 hours

Pork Roast

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Remove pork from brine and pat dry. Score the skin of the pork to allow even rendering while cooking.
Bring the vinegar, water and sugar to a boil in a pot. Add the baking soda and continue to boil. Pour the liquid over the skin of the pork roast. Pat the skin dry with paper towels and discard the liquid.
Rub the roast with grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper. Remember the brine is already salted, so just an even layer of salt and pepper here will do.
Place the pork on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1.5 hours or until internal temperature reads 145°F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Cranberry Gastrique

Combine sugar, water and cranberries in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a slow boil over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, and cranberries start to soften.
Add the red wine vinegar and wine and cook for about 5 minutes while stirring to prevent sticking. Add in thyme and cook until cranberries have broken down completely and mixture is thickened or coats the back of a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and strain, reserve gastrique for plating.