Dano's Braised Rack of Pork
Dano's Heuriger on Seneca, Lodi, NY
So much fat has been removed from "the other white meat" that in many instances the taste has been removed as well. When Dano Hutnik and his wife, Karen Gilman, prepared a Viennese New Year at the Beard House, the roast pork was moist and unbelievably tender. You must start the pork three days before you intend to serve it, but the actual time in the kitchen is minimal.
- 1 cup plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 rack of pork, 8 to 10 ribs, trimmed, bones frenched, tied (about 6 1/2 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds
- 8 tablespoons beef, veal, vegetable, or chicken stock
Three days before you intend to serve the roast, prepare the brine. In a large pot, combine 10 cups of water with one cup of salt, the bay leaves, peppercorns, and fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, and turn off the heat. Add another 6 cups of cold water to the brine to cool and dilute it. Place the rack of pork in a container large enough to allow for it to be submerged. When the brine has come down to room temperature, pour it over the pork. Add up to 4 more cups of water if necessary to submerge the meat. If you have to add more brine than that to cover, do so in the proportion of 1/4 cup salt per 5 cups of water. Refrigerate the pork, submerged, for 24 hours.
Combine the granulated garlic, black pepper, dried thyme, paprika, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Rub this spice mixture all over the pork. Cut 4 or 5 of the garlic cloves into slivers and insert them in and around the pork. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.
To cook the pork, preheat the oven to 500ºF. Place the pork, fat-side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Drizzle evenly with the vegetable oil and sprinkle with caraway. Place the pork in the oven for 15 minutes. Add the remaining cloves of garlic to the roasting pan and let cook another minute or two. Pour in enough stock to come halfway up the roast. Let cook for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes or so. Turn down the temperature to 350ºF and continue cooking another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is dark brown and tender. To test, insert a small knife; it should go in like butter when the roast is done. Remove from the oven. Slice the roast into chops, between the bones. Serve the roast immediately, or store the slices in the cooking liquid and reheat them in the liquid when you are ready to serve.