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Pork Rack with Five Spice and Honey
Five Spice and Honey Brine 3 tbsp salt 3 tbsp dark honey 2 tsp five-spice powder 2 tsp ginger powder 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime 1 cup boiling water 7 cups cold water Pork Rack 1 pork rack (with 8 or 9 cutlets), skin scored 10 slices fresh ginger 5-6 whole star anise 1 tbsp vinegar and a little salt, for crackling 1-1½ cups white wine or apple juice Fresh Pineapple and Mint Salsa ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and finely diced finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes 1-2 green or yellow chillies, very finely chopped 1 tsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1 tsp finely ground Sichuan pepper (optional) ¼ cup finely chopped mint leaves
© Annabel Langbein Media
Five Spice and Honey Brine
Fresh Pineapple and Mint Salsa
To make Five Spice and Honey Brine, mix all ingredients except cold water in a heatproof dish that will hold the pork snugly with room for the brine. Stir to dissolve salt and honey. Add 7 cups cold water and leave to cool.
Add pork to the cooled brine skin-side up, ensuring the brine does not cover the skin (otherwise it won’t crackle properly). Cover and chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
While pork is brining, make Fresh Pineapple and Mint Salsa by combining all ingredients except mint leaves. Cover and chill (it will keep for up to 48 hours). Just before serving, mix through mint leaves.
When ready to cook the pork, preheat oven to 220°C. Lift pork from brine, pat flesh dry with a paper towel and ensure skin is kept dry. Place ginger and star anise in a roasting dish and place pork on top, skin side up. Brush skin with vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Roast until skin is crackled (45-50 minutes). Pour off fat then pour wine or apple juice around meat. Reduce heat to 160°C and continue to cook for another 1 1/4 hours.
Lift pork out of dish, cover and rest for 10 minutes. Heat pan brownings, stirring to pick up all the flavours in the pan.
Slice meat into cutlets between the ribs or carve off the bone and slice thinly. Serve with a spoonful of pan juices and accompany with Fresh Pineapple and Mint Salsa.
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