Rack of Suckling Pig with Chestnut Crabapples and Calvados
A classic preparation for pork. Look for chestnut crabapples at your local coop in the late summer.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: Crabapples, Suckling Pig
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1rack of suckling pigor rack of lamb
2-4preserved chestnut crabapples*(recipe follows) you can also use fresh apples, just peel them, leaving the stems attached, and proceed as directed.
3Tablespoonsrendered pork lardunsalted butter, or cooking oil
Pan Sauce (optional)
4cupsmeat stock(or use 1 cup of meat stock and 1/2 cup of demi-glace, which is what I used)
1tablespoonfinely chopped shallots
2Tablespoonsapple pickling liquidor apple cider vinegar
2tablespoonscalvados or brandy
Pan Roasted Brussels sprouts
Dry Brining the Rack
Season the suckling pig rack liberally all over with salt and pepper then allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator, covered. Allow the rack to come to room temperature before cooking.
Reduce the stock to one cup and reserve, or use demi-glace.
Cooking the Rack
Preheat the oven to 350, then heat 1 tablespoon of the fat in a heavy pan, turn on a hood vent or open a window, and sear the suckling pig rack fat cap-side down for a minute or two, then put in the oven to finish cooking.
Meanwhile, warm up the apples on the stove in the remaining tablespoon of fat, turning occasionally until hot throughout.
Cook the suckling pig rack until 140-145F, aiming for medium to medium-well, then remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place while you make the sauce.
Add the shallots to the pan with the remaining fat and cook until just lightly browned, then deglaze with the brandy, scrape up the brown bits, and reduce until the pan is nearly dry. Add the stock and cream and cook until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes)
Double check the seasoning for salt and adjust as needed. To serve, cut the suckling pig rack into 4 two-bone portions, arranging two on each plate. Serve with the warmed apples, roasted brussels sprouts if using, and the pan sauce alongside.