The season of gift books is upon us, and if you've got a foodie on your list, Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt recommends Daniel Boulud's Daniel: My French Cuisine above all other cookbooks this year. Now to find someone with enough culinary talents to take on recipes like this one . . .

Beer-Marinated Pork Rack with a Barley-Mustard Crust


Beer-Marinated Pork


Serves 6


Ingredients:

Barley-Mustard Crust (makes extra)


  • ¼ cup pearl barley

  • 1 cup Chicken Stock

  • Salt

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter

  • 1 cup Fine White Breadcrumbs

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds, soaked in water overnight

  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard

  • Freshly ground white pepper


Pork Rack

  • Salt

  • ¾ tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1½ tablespoons mustard seeds, soaked in water overnight

  • ¾ tablespoon cracked black peppercorns

  • 6 sprigs sage

  • 8 sprigs thyme

  • 4 bay leaves, torn

  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

  • 1 (6-rib) pork rack (about 8 pounds), Frenched and tied

  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber ale (such as Fischer’s Bière D’Alsace)

  • Freshly ground white pepper

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 8 large green cabbage leaves, remaining head reserved for the baeckeoffe

  • 1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish


Directions:

For the Barley-Mustard Crust


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.

  • Rinse the barley with cold water until it runs clear.

  • Place in a medium ovenproof saucepan with the stock and ½ teaspoon salt.

  • Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake for 35 minutes.

  • Remove, rest for 10 minutes, and fluff with a fork.

  • Transfer the barley to a tray, spread into a thin layer, and chill uncovered in the refrigerator.

  • In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the butter until creamy.

  • Add the cooled barley, the breadcrumbs, mustard seeds, mustard powder, Dijon mustard, and grainy mustard and season with salt and pepper; mix just until combined.

  • Scrape the butter onto a sheet of parchment paper, set another paper on top, and roll into a 1/8-inch-thick sheet.

  • Refrigerate until firm, or for up to 3 days.


For the Pork Rack

  • In a large saucepan, simmer 2¼ cups water with 2¼ tablespoons salt and the brown sugar until dissolved.

  • Remove from the heat, add the mustard seeds, cracked peppercorns, and half of the sage, thyme, bay leaves, and garlic; allow to cool.

  • Place the pork in a 2-gallon resealable bag and pour in the water–spice mixture and the beer. Seal and marinate refrigerated for 48 hours, turning the pork 4 times.

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F.

  • Remove the pork from the marinade, scrape off any herbs or spices stuck to the meat, and pat dry.

  • Season on all sides with white pepper. If desired, wrap the bones with aluminum foil to prevent browning.

  • Heat the oil in a roasting pan over medium-high heat.

  • Add the pork and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 8 minutes total.

  • While searing, baste often with the oil from the pan, especially in the areas around the bones. Reduce the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of the butter and the remaining sage, thyme, bay leaf, and garlic.

  • Continue turning and basting for 3 minutes.

  • Transfer to the oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 130°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  • danielMeanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and boil the cabbage leaves until tender, about 4 minutes.

  • Strain off the water and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

  • Toss with the horseradish to heat through.

  • Season with salt and pepper.

  • Remove the pork and increase the oven temperature to broil.

  • Remove the barley crust from the refrigerator.
    Press the crust onto the meaty side of the pork and trim any overhanging edges if needed.

  • Broil the pork for about 5 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

  • Arrange the cabbage on a serving tray and set the roasted pork rack on top.


Reprinted with permission from Daniel: My French Cuisine by Daniel Boulud, copyright © 2013. Published by Grand Central Life & Style. Read our review of this book.

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