Wolfgang's Rack of Pork
Wolfgang Puck's Rack of Pork With Prunes and Dates
Wolfgang Puck's Rack of Pork will serve as a perfect main dish if you plan to be home for the holidays.
Rough chop prunes, dates and apricots and place in medium bowl and set aside.
Season both sides of the pork rack with salt, pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of the chopped rosemary and sage.
Place chopped prunes, dates and apricots in inner part of pork rack and spread around. With wet fingers press down the prunes, dates and apricots, then roll it tight. Using kitchen twine, tie the pork rack between each of the bones. Season the outside with salt and pepper and remaining herbs.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Sear the pork rack on all sides until evenly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pork and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and add the butter. When it has melted, add the onions, ginger, cinnamon stick, and star anise. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and continue sautéing, stirring continuously, until the mixture has a deep caramel color, about 2 minutes more.
Add the cider to the pan. Stir and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze the deposits. Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise.
Transfer the pork to a small roasting pan or baking dish and cover it with half of the onion mixture. Roast the pork until a roasting thermometer inserted into its thickest part not touching bone registers 160 degrees F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes, covering it with the remaining onion mixture halfway through roasting.
When the pork is done, remove it from the oven, cover the dish with foil, and let the pork rest for 10 minutes so the meat juices settle. With a sharp knife, carve the pork between the bones into chops. Serve on heated plates, spooning the onions and pan juices over and around the pork.