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Roast Rack of Pork in Sweet Sour Parsnip Glaze

INGREDIENTS:1 center cut of rack of pork (eight to ten ribs), frenched
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp. black pepper, coarsely ground
1 Tbsp. fresh minced thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh minced sage
1 Tbsp. ground coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. ground fennel seeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup white wine
4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 cup water

Gratin of Parsnips and Potatoes:
1 lb. parsnips, peeled, sliced 1/8-inch thick, parsnip peelings well washed. Set aside.
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, well washed
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup milk
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
salt, fresh ground pepper
1 oz. grated Parmesan
4 qts. very lightly salted water

Parsnip Glaze:
parsnip cooking water
parsnip peelings

Fricassee of red chard, pinenuts, and red currants:
1 bunch red chard, well washed, leaves removed from ribs, coarse chopped

Frying Batter for Optional Garnish:
scant cup of all-purpose sifted flour
2 ½ Tbsp. corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
as needed, ice cold water
8 trimmed leaves of red chard DIRECTIONS:For pork roast: Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine herbs, seasonings, and olive oil into a rub. firmly spread on the surface of the meat. (This step can be done one day ahead.) Keep the pork refrigerated; remove from refrigerator one hour prior to roasting. Set pork on a roasting rack on a roasting pan, and place in the oven. After 10-15 minutes when the meat is seared, reduce heat to 300°F and add ½ cup water to the roasting pan. Roast for another thirty minutes or until done, intermittently basting the meat with its cooking juice. Turn the oven off. Place roast on a platter and return it to the oven to keep warm. Deglaze roasting pan with vinegar; scrape roasting pan well. Pour vinegar into small sauce pan. Add white wine and reduce to syrupy consistency. Set aside.

For gratin of parsnips: Bring 4 qts. of salted water to a boil. Add parsnips and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain, saving cooking water. Pour water back into pot and add well-washed parsnip peelings. Reduce parsnip water to a light syrup, then drain and set aside. Cover sliced potatoes with cold salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Cool potatoes in cold water; peel and slice 1/8-inch thick. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour cream and milk into a saucepan. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes; butter the sides of a roasting pan, pour cream over the vegetables, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

For parsnip glaze: Combine parsnip cooking water and peelings. Bring to boil, and at a high simmer, allow it to reduce to a light syrupy consistency. Strain and set aside.

For fricassee of red chard: Bring water to a boil and drop in diced chard ribs. Simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Drain. Set large saucepan on medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Do not brown the garlic. Add diced chard ribs, chiffonade of chard leaves, nutmeg, and sage. Stir well, reduce heat, and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until chard leaves are tender. Meanwhile, sauté pinenuts in ½ Tbsp. butter to a light brown. Add chard and currants and toss well. Add remaining butter; salt and pepper to taste. For fried chard leaves: Just before serving, mix dry ingredients with enough cold water to give a thick, creamy consistency. Pour 3 qts. vegetable oil into a 6 qt. pot and heat oil to 360°F. Dip chard leaves into batter and deep fry for 1 minutes. Allow to drain on paper towel.

To serve: For glaze, combine cooking juices, parsnip syrup, and tomato purée. Reduce to syrupy consistency, and hold warm. For meat, cut roast into 8 chops. Place in center of plate. Place chard, fricassee and gratin on either sides of the meat. Drizzle glaze on top. Optional garnish: fried chard leaf. NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: SERVINGS: From:Chef/Owner Moncef Meddeb, Le Midi, Boston PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: NATIONAL PORK PRODUCERS COUNCIL

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