YIELD: 8 SERVINGS
1½ qts. cranberry juice
6 oz. cranberry vodka
9 Tbsps. salt
1 center-cut pork rack, frenched (8 to 9 lbs.)
8 oz. toasted pecans, ground
8 oz. plain bread crumbs
3 oz. clarified butter, divided
2 oz. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
4 oz. dried cranberries
1. For the brine: Combine cranberry juice, vodka and salt. Cover the pork with cranberry brine. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. For the pecan crust: Combine ground pecans, bread crumbs, 1½ oz. butter and thyme. Remove the pork rack from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.
3. For the cranberry paste: In a food processor, purée the dried cranberries with a little water until smooth.
4. Heat a large sauté pan until hot. Add remaining butter and sear the pork rack on both sides. Place the pork on a meat rack. Spread the cranberry paste on the pork and then top with a pecan crust. Cover with foil and bake at 325°F for about 1½ hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. (Remove the foil 10 to 15 minutes before the pork is done to brown the pecan crust.) Allow the pork to rest 15 minutes before slicing.
Recipe and photo: National Pork Board