Rack of Pork with Pear-Apple Compote

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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For the pork: 

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup honey

10 juniper berries

2 sprigs rosemary

10 black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 2-pound skin-on rack of pork (pork loin roast) with 4 rib bones, frenched (ribs scraped clean; ask your butcher to do this)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the compote:

1 shallot, chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

1 Bosc pear, peeled and diced

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper


  1. Make the brine: Combine the salt, honey and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over high heat. When the salt and honey have dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and add the juniper berries, rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaf and garlic. Let steep until the water cools to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Add the brine mixture to a large container with a lid, then add 14 cups cold water. Score the skin on the pork roast with a knife in a 1-inch diamond pattern. Submerge the pork in the brine and cover the container. Let the pork brine overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the pork from the brine, then rinse and pat dry (discard the brine). Season the pork all over with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Heat a large ovenproof saute pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes, then add the olive oil and sear the roast on all sides until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork registers 150 degrees F, about 40 minutes. Remove the pork to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest at least 15 minutes.
  3. While the meat is resting, make the compote: Transfer 2 tablespoons fat from the roasting pan to a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute, stirring, 5 minutes. Add the apple, pear, dried cranberries, orange juice, cider, brown sugar, mustard and rosemary; add 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, and the cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the compote is soft and thick, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Carve the pork into individual chops and serve with the compote.