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Brined Roast Rack of Pork with Molasses-Mustard Glaze, Sour Mash Sauce and Apple Butter

Serves: 4-6

Apple Butter 

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 small Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 stick unsalted butter, softened


1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the apple, water and brown sugar and cook until the apples are very soft. Stir in the cinnamon and salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool.
2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the butter and process until slightly chunky. Scrape into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Let come to room temperature before serving. 

Molasses-Mustard Glaze (for pork)

¼ cup Dijon
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
¼ cup molasses
salt and freshly ground black pepper

whisk together ingredients in a small bowl. 


Pork
6 cups water
1 container apple juice concentrate, thawed
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 Spanish onion, peeled and quartered
10 black peppercorns
10 mustard seeds
8 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 (3 lb) center cut rack of pork
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups Jack Daniels
5 cups homemade chicken stock
¼ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus parsley sprigs for garnish

1. Bring the water, apple juice, salt, sugar, onion, peppercorns, mustard seeds, thyme and bay leaves to a simmer in a large stock pot and cook until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Let cool completely. Submerge the roast in the brine by placing a plate on top, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. 
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet, brush with some of the glaze and finish cooking in the oven until cooked to an internal temperature of 150 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 25-30 minutes, brushing with the glaze every 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest loosely tented with foil for 10 minutes.
3. Add the shallots to the sauté pan (that the pork was browned in) and cook until soft. Add the Jack Daniels, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken broth and brown sugar and bring to a boil and cook until reduced to a sauce consistency. Whisk in the butter, season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
4. Slice the rack into chops and place on a large plate, drizzle a little of the sauce around the pork chop and top with some of the butter. Garnish with parsley sprigs.


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