Our easy Rack of Pork with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes is the perfect dish for your holiday dinner menu!
Rack of pork is easy, delicious and a beautiful dish. If ever you’ve needed to have a deliciously fancy looking meal but don’t know what to make – this – THIS – is the one! Presentation is absolutely gorgeous – perfect for a big holiday dinner, but the preparation couldn’t be easier.
A lot of folks balk at the idea of cooking rack of pork, but I will show you how to cook a rack of pork easily and successfully. And flavor – oh. my. word. I cannot express enthusiastically enough how good this tastes.
This article is a partnered effort with the National Pork Board.
This Rack of Pork with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes is the perfect dinner to make and enjoy as a celebratory “done with holiday shopping” meal.
I don’t know about you, but I like to get my holiday shopping done early. Granted, it doesn’t always work out that way, but I do try to at least knock out the bulk of it! I have it easier than most folks because I always buy my family the same thing. Matching holiday pajamas!
It started off as a silly joke over a decade ago when there were just six of us in my immediate family and I happened to see a rack of matching mens pajama bottoms while I was out shopping – but now it’s grown into a fun tradition that involves the six original family members, spouses, my grandfather, the ten grandchildren, and any family members that happen to be visiting. You’d think kids would be upset over receiving clothes for a gift every year but actually everyone gets really into it!
Unlike that first year where I just grabbed a bunch of pajama bottoms of the closest rack, it’s now become the annual hunt for the ultimate print. Which is harder than you might think because I have to find upwards of thirty pair in sizes ranging from infant to XL – not to mention, it wouldn’t be an outfit without a cute matching top. I take this quest very seriously!
Everyone knows the culmination of a fulfilled quest is the banquet. And deservedly so! It takes a lot of legwork (both literally and figuratively) to successfully complete a holiday shopping list. Whether it be pajamas or otherwise! So, let this fantastic rack of pork be your prize too. It’s delicious but also simple, so everyone will be pleased!
From the National Pork Board:
“Pork rib roast is also referred to as rack of pork (it also may be labeled center-cut pork loin). The cut originates in the rib area of the loin, so it contains a bit more fat which makes it flavorful.
The pork rib roast/rack of pork is the pork equivalent of a standing beef rib roast or a rack of lamb. For reference, a pork rib roast/rack of pork is a simpler version of a pork crown roast, which is a pork rib roast/rack of pork turned into a circle and tied.
This cut makes a show-stopping centerpiece for an elegant dinner.
Pork rib roast is not always available in the supermarket meat case, but you can easily order it ahead of time. Before roasting or barbecuing the pork rib roast, it should beis often times “Frenched.” Simply cut the meat away from the end of each rib bone, so that part of each bone is exposed. A butcher also can do this for you.”
If you love pork (like we do!) you can chat with the National Pork Board through their Facebook bot. Visit the Pork Be inspired Facebook page and click ‘message’ to talk to the bot. Or find tons of great resources at the Pork Be Inspired website!
How to Make Rack of Pork
Rack of Pork
Rack of Pork with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes recipe is the perfect holiday dish.
- 3 - 4 pound rack of pork
- 4 cups brussels sprouts about 20 sprouts
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 small red onion
- garlic salt
- salt & pepper
- fat or oil for searing/roasting
- 1/2 cup fig preserves
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- optional: crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Pat the pork dry and season it lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet (I used a cast iron) with a small amount of fat or oil until very (very) hot and sear the pork on each side for 2 - 3 minutes, until browned.
- Place pork on a baking sheet into a 450 degree oven, middle rack. Set timer for 20 minutes.
- While pork is roasting, cut sweet potato into half/quarter inch cubes, and stem/halve the brussels sprouts.
Slice 2/3 of the onion into thin rings, and mince the remaining third.
- Toss brussels sprouts, sweet potato, and onion with a little bit of oil, and sprinkle generously with garlic salt.
When 20 minute timer ends, add the vegetables and ringed onions to your baking sheet with the pork in a single layer. If the pork looks like it's browning too quickly, turn it over. Set an additional 20 minutes on the timer.
While the pork and vegetables are roasting, bring your skillet that you used for searing back up to medium/high. Deglaze the pan by adding red wine and stirring for a few minutes (to release everything from the bottom of the pan into your sauce. Add fig preserves, minced onion, and soy sauce, then simmer until reduced to about half, or less (depending on your preferred consistency).
- When timer ends, check vegetables and pork for doneness (using a fork on the veggies and meat thermometer on the pork). Remove each as finished (they might not finish at exactly the same time).
- The National Pork Board recommends that for tender, juicy and delicious pork loins, roasts, chops and tenderloins to cook them like you would a steak – until a digital thermometer reads an internal temperature between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), followed by a three-minute rest. For easier slicing and to let the pork juices redistribute throughout the meat, remove larger cuts, such as roasts, from the oven and let them stand and rest for a total of 10 minutes before serving.
- Place vegetables on serving tray (and optionally sprinkle with cheese), then place pork over top. Drizzle generously with fig glaze.
Christmas and Thanksgiving might be center-most this holiday season, but the National Pork Board is going to help you to make EVERY moment one worth celebrating! A recently conducted survey from the National Pork Board showed a variety of meaningful experiences, activities and occasions Americans enjoy during the season.
To help make those occasions even more joyous, the National Pork Board is serving up recipes in a new way. The Pork Be inspired® Facebook bot is giving users awesome pork recipes to match whatever is on their agenda – whether that’s an afternoon spent watching sports with friends, preparing for (yet another!) family dinner, decorating the house or hanging out at the fire pit with a glass of wine.
Marrying new social media technology with survey data, the interactive bot will ask the user a series of questions to determine the best recipe for their occasion. It’s like chatting with a pal!