You may think that there’s a lot of salt in this recipe, but the roast needs it. The spice mixture is acting as a dry brine, delivering seasoning to deep within the big cut of meat.
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons Diamond Crystal or 1 tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons Morton kosher salt, plus more
2 (8-bone) racks of pork (about 4 pounds each), chine bone removed, fat trimmed 1/4-inch thick, rib bones frenched
1/2 cup coarsely chopped rosemary leaves
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds medium mixed red, white, and/or yellow onions, peeled, quartered through root end
4 bay leaves
Special Equipment: A spice mill or mortar and pestle
Toast peppercorns, fennel seeds, and cumin seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely grind in spice mill or with mortar and pestle along with red pepper flakes and paprika. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 3 Tbsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 Tbsp. plus 2 1/4 tsp. Morton kosher salt.
Place racks of pork on a rimmed baking sheet and pat dry. Tie racks with kitchen twine, spacing 1″ apart (make sure to tie the meat snugly; you want it to be uniform in shape so that it will cook evenly).
Rub all over with spice mixture and chill, uncovered, at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours (for the best flavor, longer is better).
Let pork sit out at room temperature about 2 hours before roasting.
Combine rosemary and 1/2 cup oil in a small bowl; let infuse while meat is coming to room temperature.
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 500°F. Toss onions and bay leaves with remaining 3 Tbsp. oil in a large roasting pan (they should cover the bottom of the pan); season with salt. Rub pork all over with rosemary oil and place on top of onions. Roast until top of pork is golden brown, 10–15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and continue roasting pork and onions until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of meat registers 135°F, 60–75 minutes. Transfer pork roasts to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 20–30 minutes. Keep oven on.
Just before serving, give onions a toss and heat in oven just to warm through. Slice pork roasts between rib bones to make individual chops; arrange on a platter with onions
MR. PORTER AND MS. CHARLES CULINARY CRAVINGS
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. But, it takes two to tango so stay tuned to see who will master the steam oven first, or whether Mr. Porter or Ms. Charles comes up with the best new recipes.
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