The porking saga continues...

Enough of pork porn already, I hear you say. But when there is a 1.2kg of moisture-infused of pork rack sitting in the fridge, and the long weekend coming right up; I can't help but the only one thing cross my mind is to shove this little baby into oven and have a crack-a-lackin Queen's Birthday long weekend! Well, that's exactly what I did!

"With great pork rack comes great cooking responsibility".

Melissa has set up a cooking challenge for the foodbloggers and she wants to see what we can come up with while handling out the rack of pork. Hence, I give you the slow roasted moisture-infused pork rack.

The moisture-infused pork rack is already tender and succulent, I know it is unnecessary to slow roasting it and probably not improving the tenderness much. The only reason why I do this is because due to my heavy workload these day, the least I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen, fiddling with a rack of pork whole day. Hence, the best solution is to whack the whole thing in the oven and let it roast, while I can get back on with my daily chores. Out of sight, out of mind, and it came out perfect!

I keep it simple and let the sweetness of the pork speaks for itself. The pork rack is roasted in white wine with some home-grown lemon thymes and cloves of garlic. It then served with spinach and mash, roasted potato disc and a roasted chestnut for that wintery touch.

I also separated the rind from the rack as it needs less time to cook at a higher temperature for that extra crackling crunch. It works out well and also gives me a better plating presentation. If you want your crackling a real nice crunch, the trick is to make sure the skin is pat dry, score it with a sharp knife, then sprinkle with sea salt before putting it into the oven.

I am absolutely inspired by the buttery roasted potato in the Masterchef's cooking class and decided to make my own version to go with the pork. I roasted the potato in olive oil and butter, infused with rosemary and lemon thymes. I should have roasted them in medium heat or even lower, as the potato discs turned golden brown quite quickly, while inside is still uncooked. But the result is amazing! A soft mushy center with an aromatic herb-infused crispy skin, it is great to learn something new.

As for the off cuts of the potato, don't throw away. Put them into the baking try along with the pork and it will suck up all the nice jus and make a beautiful mash. Another technique I've picked up recently is to mash the potato through a strainer, and it yields a creamier mash with smoother texture.

After 3 hours of slow roasting, the pork is extremely tender and close to disintegrate makes cutting it almost effortless. The bone is almost detached from the meat and I had to be real careful while slicing it. I don't know about you, but I can see myself having a lot more of this yummy roast pork this coming winter.

Thanks to Australian Pork for this wonderful moisture-infused pork rack, and thanks to Mel for setting up this cooking challenge. So, where's my prize? :)

Slow roasted pork rack

1.2kg pork rack
1 clove garlic, crushed
5 cloves garlic with skins
3 stems of lemon thymes
½ cup of chicken stock
½ cup of dry white wine
handful of sea salt

1. cut the rind off the pork rack, score it with sharp knife in diamond shape. Then pat dry with paper towel and air dry it.
2. drizzle a little bit of olive oil over pork rack, rub crushed garlic all over.
3. preheat oven to 150ºC.
4. Heat oil in large frameproof baking dish, cook pork, until browned all over. All wine and stock and bring to boil.
5. Add lemon thymes. Cover pork tightly with foil or lid, roast in the oven for 1½ hours.
6. Add off-cuts potatoes, garlic cloves; roast, covered, 1¼hours. Turning pork occasionally.
7. Take the cooked potatoes out of the dish and set aside.
8. Increase oven heat to 200ºC; spoon pan juices over pork. Roast, uncovered for further 20 minutes or until brown. Now is also the best time to put the rind in the oven on the top shelf close to top element.
9. Transfer pork to serving platter, cover loosely with foil and let it stand for 15 minutes. Take the crackling out, shake all the salt away. Crank oven up to 250ºC, put the crackling back in on top shelf for another 10-15mins until the skin blistered. Make sure keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burnt.
10. Meanwhile, place baking dish over heat; add a dash of white wine and bring pan juices to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered , until mixture reduces to about 1 cup.
11. Slice pork then pour pan jus over it and serve.

Sides

3 large potatoes
200 gram spinach
3 chestnuts
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch lemon thymes
150gr butter
5tbsp olive oil

Buttery Potato 1. Cut 3 large potatoes into discs using a cookie cutter. Roughly chop the off cuts and add it to the pork baking tray during half time.
2. Hit a saucepan with olive oil and butter on medium heat.
3. Add potato discs, rosemary and lemon thymes. Roast the potatoes until golden brown.

Roasted Chestnuts 1. cut a cross on the chestnuts (to let steam out while roasting to avoid explosion)
2. put chestnuts on baking tray, sprinkle with salt.
3. Put into the oven at Step 8 while roasting the pork.
4. Take it out after 25 mins, let it cool, then peel the shell off.

Spinach 1. just blanch it with boiling water.