Roast Rack of Pork with Mustard Greens, Baby Turnips, and Pomegranate Sauce


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Wolfgang PuckThe time is long overdue to welcome pork back to a proud place on our tables. Not only is it delicious, economical, and versatile, but it is also nothing like the meat that so many people fretted about a generation ago. Today’s pork is raised with care, so there really isn’t much reason to worry about getting sick from it. And the animals are, indeed, much leaner than their ancestors, so most cuts aren’t particularly fatty. Click here for Wolfgang Puck's full introduction.

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  • Pomegranate Marinade:
  • 2 oz. peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 small dried red chilies
  • 2 C. pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 C. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 C. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 C. thinly sliced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. mushroom soy sauce
  • 6 oz. tamarind paste
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. ground coriander
  • Pork and Vegetables:
  • 1 (8-rib) pork rack, Frenched (bone ends trimmed clean by the butcher)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter (16 Tbs.)
  • 2 oz. thickly sliced smoked bacon, cut into large squares
  • 2 whole unpeeled heads garlic, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 lb. mustard greens, washed and trimmed, leaves cut into 3-inch squares
  • 1 1/2 C. good quality canned chicken broth
  • 1 lb. baby turnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into quarters
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar

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First, make the marinade: In a sauté pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the chilies and sauté for 15 seconds. Transfer to a deep casserole. Stir in the remaining marinade ingredients.

Submerge the pork in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator, turning the pork once, for 3 hours.

Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Divide the marinade into 2 portions.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat all but 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the pork and sear until golden all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast, basting every 5 minutes with half of the marinade, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 150-160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.

While the pork is roasting, prepare the vegetables. In a clean sauté pan, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and garlic and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Add 4 Tbs. of butter and, when melted, add the greens. Season with salt and pepper. Add half of the broth and stir and scrape to deglaze. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside and keep warm.

In another sauté pan, melt 4 Tbs. butter over medium-high heat. Add the turnips and sauté until golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining broth and granulated sugar. Cover and cook until tender-crisp, about 7 minutes. Season to taste, cover, and keep warm.

While the pork and vegetables are cooking, prepare the sauce. In a saucepan, bring the remaining marinade to a boil and then simmer briskly until thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan and, over low heat, whisk in the remaining butter. Season to taste, cover, and keep warm.

To serve, mound the greens in the centers of 4 plates, discarding the garlic. Cut the pork into chops, leaning them against the greens. Scatter the turnips and ladle the sauce over the meat.

Yield: 4 servings

(Chef Wolfgang Puck’s TV series, “Wolfgang Puck’s Cooking Class,” airs Sundays on the Food Network. Also, his latest cookbook, “Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy,” is now available in bookstores. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, N.Y. 14207.)


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