Impress all your guests with this perfect oven-roasted rack of pork recipe. Perfect for the holiday season and entertaining. It’s easy to make with a rich herb crust and perfect medium center, this is a hit every time!
Making perfect oven roasted rack of pork is easy
If you love cooking big roasts for friends and family, this recipe is for you. Because if you want to try a big bone-in cut, this is also for you. And heck, if you want a picture-perfect recipe that sounds super fancy but is actually really easy, this oven-roasted rack of pork deliciousness is also, indeed for you.
The best part about this easy recipe is that it’s deceptively uncomplicated. So, let’s break down a classic oven-roasted rack of pork and get back to hanging out with the guests.
For this oven-roasted rack of pork, I used a Kurobuta Rack of Pork from Snake River Farms, also known as the prime rib of pork. Snake River Farms is an online retailer for high-end specialty meat such as heritage pork, American Wagyu, USDA Prime, and dry-aged beef. If you are looking for a special cut for a particular occasion, they are a great American company to use. You will see their steaks on menus across the Western US and popping up more throughout the country.
What is Kurobuta Pork?
Kurobuta Pork is a Japanese standard for prime pork. To put it simply, Kurobuta is to pork what wagyu is to beef. Kurobuta pork comes from heritage Berkshire pork. It is known for its intense flavor, a richer color, and tender bite. The high-fat content is what produces a beautiful marbling and tenderness in the meat, much like we look for in a juicy rib-eye steak.
Because Kurobuta is rarer than other standard pork breeds, it is not the same pork we often see at our local markets. Currently, you would need a specialty butcher or a trusted online retailer of gourmet meat to source Kurobuta pork.
I was sent two beautiful racks of Kurobuta pork from the folks at Snake River Farms via the mail per their standard ordering process and the racks arrived in an eco-friendly package with water dissolvable styrofoam and dry ice.
Each rack of pork was still frozen with an airtight seal upon arrival. This product did ship during the winter months, which I am sure plays a roll in the level of defrosting, but the packaging was very well thought out to keep the meat cold for shipping.
How to Order a Rack of Pork
Ordering a rack of pork can be confusing. How much will you need to feed your guests? And since you will most likely need to special order the pork, knowing just how much you need is important.
How Much Per Person / How Much is a Single Serving
The basic rule of thumb for ordering a rack is 1 pound per person, including the weight of the bone. This leaves about ½ to ¾ pound per guest. I generally go with one bone per guest, with an extra rib for those who will come back for seconds.
Buying a Whole Rack
I don’t often see full racks of pork at my local market and have special ordered each time. Find a local butcher and make sure you are giving yourself ample time ahead of your dinner party to order your rack of pork. Online meat companies like Snake River Farms, that specialize in heritage breed pork, make ordering simple. By the entire rack. Each rack is 10 to 12 ribs.
How to Cook a Rack of Pork
When it comes to cooking large cuts, low and slow is where it is at. Rack of Pork is ideal for roasting in the oven or smoking, for a steady even heat to guarentee a perfect 145-degree internal temp when slicing. A rack of pork is often not as thick as a prime rib or whole turkey, cutting the cook time down a bit.
A good sear at the start, or browning at the end under the broiler, can help form a perfect crust that we all love. In the method below, I sear the rack first, in a hot skillet, before placing in the oven to cook through.
By the way, you might also want to check out my smoked ribs recipe too while we are on the subject of roast pork ribs.
Pro Tip: Roast the pork fat side up with the bones on the bottom. This helps the fat melt over the meat and keep things juicy as you are cooking.
How do you know when it’s done?
Also, a meat thermometer is essential for any large cut, especially a rack of pork. Overcooked pork can be dry and tough, but we don’t want it undercooked in the center either. With large cuts, a simple finger poke isn’t a sure way to test if the meat is one. Using a wireless meat thermometer for cooking is your best bet to a perfectly cooked rack.
How long do you cook pork per pound?
Success to a perfectly cooked roast – whatever it is is more about internal temp than time. A general rule of thumb is 15-25 minutes a pound. However, safe temperature trumps everything. Pork needs to be cooked to 145 degrees internally. After about an hour of cooking, temp the pork to see where you are for that target. If the pork is starting to get to brown, cover it in foil while it continues to cook.
What makes a rack of pork roast special?
Ok, let’s just start with the obvious. Even if you use the best quality of pork available, it still probably is less per pound than a rack of lamb. Plus you get a few extra bites off the bone.
Who hasn’t had a delicious rack of lamb and thought, “Delicious, but it would be nice if there were at least one more bite off the bone”.
So cost relative to portion size is a big plus.
But it gets better from there. Pork rack roast can be served with all the things that make racked lamb special, like mint jelly for example. Try it. Trust me.
Also, some folks consider lamb to “gamey”. For those folks, why deny them a rib roast option?
To sear first or broil at the end?
To sear or to broil, that is the question. Whether tis nobler to sear in the juiciness at the onset, or suffer the loss of juiciness in serving. To sear, perchance to broil, ah, there in lies the rub.
Because you certainly want to rub in your seasonings no matter what first.
Hold on, before I continue to wax on poetically, let’s just break it all down. Searing at first does help lock in and concentrate the water content into the meat. That helps keep it juicy.
However, you also get the benefit of using the seared bits in the pan to make a flavorful pan sauce by deglazing the pan.
Broiling is a way to add a bit of crisp at the end. You may not need it if the ribs look nice and roasted already. (With nice caramelized golden brown highlights at the edges) But if you want to add just a bit more browning at the end, then broiling is the way to go.
What goes with a good pork roast?
Green beans or roasted brussels sprouts are perfect with a good roast and I love creamy mashed potatoes too. Serve a rich salad with spinach and use the roasted veggies as a side as well. Homemade biscuits are also pretty spectacular with this dish.
Need more pork inspiration? Check out these recipes:
- Maple Bone-in Pork Chops
- Smoked Pork Crown Roast
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Mostarda
- Garlic Stuffed Pork Roast
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Perfect Oven-Roasted Rack of Pork
- 1 rack of Kurobuta pork 10-12 ribs
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter divided
- 2 teas coarse salt divided
- 2 carrots
- 3 turnips
- 2 parsnips
- 2 onions
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp mayo
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme chopped
Make the Rub & Prep the Pork
- Whisk the dijon and mayo in a small bowl together. Add the minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Rub the rack of pork with the dijon mixture and let rest in the fridge for 6 hours. Bring to room temp on the counter for 30 minutes before cooking.
Prep the Veggies
- When ready to cook, Preheat oven to 425
- Melt 2 tbsp butter in a small saucepan or in the microwave; Set aside.
- Roughly chop the carrots, turnips, parsnips, and onion and toss in a large bowl with 2 tbsp of the melted butter. Season with ½ teaspoon salt.
Sear the Meat
- Heat a heavy roasting pan over medium heat. Add the remaining butter and swirl to coat pan.
- Sear the pork, fat side down, until golden 3 to 5 minutes.
- Using tongs, hold the rack up and sear the sides as best you can. Remove the roasting pan from heat and set the pork aside.
Roast the Rack of Pork
- Add the veggies to the pan and nestle the pork on top.
- Roast the pork in the oven at 425 for 1 to 1 -2 hours until the internal temp reaches 145.
- Remove from the oven and cover with foil.
- Let rest for 20 minutes.
- Slice carefully between the bones and serve.