Roasted Rack of Pork and Roots with a Gooseberry Horseradish Sauce

Thursday 7 July 2011

One cut of pork that I really love is Rack of Pork. I know, it may seem like a boring cut to choose, but it needn't be! Rack of Pork can be succulent and delicious as long as you follow a few rules.

  • Remove the crackling and cook it separately. (in order to get really crispy crackling you would have to cook it at such a high temperature you meat is more likely to dry out before your crackling is crisp)
  • Leave a good layer of fat on the surface, about 1/3 inch at least. Score lightly, but not all the way through to the meat.
  • Do not overcook! You are better off taking it out whilst still a bit pink in the middle and allowing it to set for a fifteen minutes or so, lightly covered with foil. During the setting time it will finish cooking through and still be lovely and moist.
To make crunchy pork crackling, cook the rind separately from the meat. Cut the rind from the meat with a small, sharp knife and place it in a shallow baking dish; brush rind with one tablespoon of vegetable oil and rub with one tablespoon of coarse cooking salt. Bake, uncovered, in a very hot oven for about 40 minutes or until rind browns and crackles. Drain on absorbent paper. (I have a smaller oven on top of my larger oven and I cook it in this while the roast is cooking in the oven below.) No more crackling failure!

I toyed with the idea of stuffing my rack with fruit and other goodies, but in the end I decided that I would stay more traditional and rub it all over with a tasty mixture of herbs and olive oil. Roasting some root vegetables along side . . . delicious sweet potato, carrots and potatoes. I also decided to make good use of the gooseberries that are ripe in my garden at the moment.

Fruit goes very well with pork and need not just be apples, which are oh so scrummy. Gooseberries also go wonderfully! I added a hint of sharpness to the sauce by adding some creamy horseradish to the mix, along with the richness of a knob of butter.

This always turns out fabulously.  Why not put some pork on your fork! You can't get a much nicer cut than the rack!

*Roasted Rack of Pork and Roots with a Gooseberry Horseradish Sauce*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A traditional roast, moist and delicious, accompanied by a variety of roasted root vegetables and served with a scrummy Gooseberry Horseradish Sauce on the side!

1 four rib piece of Rack of Pork (Free range of course!)
(about 2 1/2 pounds)
(Remove the crackling and reserve for another use)

For the rub:
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (depending on how much you like garlic)
2 TBS olive oil
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp dried thyme

For the vegetables:
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large baking potatoes, washed, unpeeled and cut into chunks
2 TBS olive oil
2 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

For the Gooseberry Sauce:
50g of golden caster sugar (1/3 cup)
250g of topped and tailed gooseberries (about 2 cups)
2 TBS white wine
pinch salt
a knob of butter
1 tsp creamed horseradish

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Remove the crackling layer from your pork, leaving about 1/3 of an inch of nice fat. Score this in diamonds with a sharp knife, without cutting all the way down to the meat.

Whisk together the olive oil, seasoning salt, black pepper, paprika, parsley flakes, thyme and garlic. Mix well and then rub this all over the meat until coated. Place in a roasting pan and then cook for about 35 to 40 minutes while you get the vegetables ready, and make your sauce.

Prepare your vegetables. Put them into a bowl. Whisk together the oil, parsley flakes, salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables with this mixture, coating them all over.

To make your sauce, place the gooseberries in a saucepan along with the wine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover. Simmer for about 10 minutes until very tender. Push the mixture through a sieve into a clean pan, scraping through as much as you can. Discard any solids left in the sieve. Whisk in the salt, sugar and butter. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Remove the pork from the oven. Move it to the side. Toss in the vegetables and roll them around in the pork fat in the roasting tin. Move them until they are around the roast. Cover with some aluminium foil and then return to the oven. Roast for a further 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pork and place on a plate, covering loosely with foil. Give the vegetables a stir in the pan juices. Increase the oven temperature to 230*C/450*F/ gas mark 7. Return the tray to the oven and roast uncoverd for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are tender and beginning to brown.

Serve the roast cut into slices, one rib per person, along with a portion of the roasted vegetables and some of the sauce. Pass the remainder of the warm sauce at the table.

I have to just say, this was one very tasty joint of pork! I'm still licking my chops!! (no pun intended!)


  1. VERY nice... I have a carnivour-hubby who would love this! ;o) Happy Day, Marie--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  2. Oh I LOVE crackling! Whenever hubby makes a pork joint, he tells me he's making Crackling with Pork!

  3. I don't know what is better, the pork, the sauce or the roasted roots - this is divine!!
    Mary x

  4. You have a lovely blog! The pork looks delicious, and I love the addition of gooseberries. They're hard to find where I live, but I love them!


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