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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 30: Gary's Roasted pork rack

Roasted pork rack with braised vegetables, farro, pepitas and date puree

Roasted pork rack with braised vegetables, farro, pepitas and date puree 

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 point pork rack, trussed
1 pork cutlet
Sea salt flakes
Braised vegetables
2 bunches yellow and purple baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
2 eschalots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 fresh globe artichoke heart, quartered, choke removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
200ml water
Date puree
6-8 fresh medjool dates, torn and pips discarded
Date vinaigrette
3-4 tablespoons hazelnut oil
2-3 tablespoons date vinegar
1 tablespoon date puree
Boiled farro, to serve
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roasted, to serve
Basil cress, to serve 

1 Preheat oven to 200°C.

2 Heat oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Season pork cutlet and pork rack with sea salt. Place in the hot pan and seal well on all sides. Transfer to a roasting tray and roast for 4-5 minutes for the cutlet and 15-20 minutes for the rack or until cooked to your liking. Remove and allow to rest for 5-7 minutes. Remove string from rack.

3 For braised vegetables, place vegetables in a large frying pan with a lid with oil and enough water to coat the bottom of the pan to about 1cm, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until tender. Drain.

4 For date puree, bring a saucepan half full of water to the boil and poach dates to soften. Drain well, transfer to a chopper attachment of a stick blender and process to a smooth paste. Pass through a fine sieve.

5 For vinaigrette, whisk oil with vinegar and date puree. Season with salt and pepper. Dress drained vegetables with a little vinaigrette.

6 To serve, spread a spoonful of puree over a serving plate and place rack on top. Arrange whole dates, vegetables and spoon over a drizzle of dressing. Serve with farro, pepitas and basil cress.  

N.B. If you can't find date vinegar you can make it. Pit 12 fresh dates and blend to a puree with 250ml warm malt vinegar. Leave at room temperature for 1-2 days to infuse, strain, discard solids.