Pork Rib Roast with Sweet Onion Puree and Crisp Sage Tempura

Govind Armstrong adores the variety of heady spices in his aromatic brine, which includes cloves, juniper and mustard seeds. He often uses them to flavor a whole rack of pork, which he finds easier to cook than individual chops. He also likes to finish the rack on a grill to add smoky flavor.

Pork Rib Roast with Sweet Onion Puree and Crisp Sage Tempura
Photo: © James Baigrie
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


  • 1/4 cup juniper berries

  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried red chiles, such as árbol chiles

  • 1/4 cup black mustard seeds

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 1/2 cup dried thyme

  • 5 quarts cold water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • Kosher salt

  • One 5 1/2 pound pork rib roast

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Sweet Onion Puree

  • Crisp Sage Tempura


  1. In a large saucepan, combine the juniper berries, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cloves and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the pot frequently, until the spices are toasted and fragrant, 3 minutes. Add the chiles, mustard seeds and bay leaves and toast for 30 seconds longer. Stir in the thyme, add 1 quart of water to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and 3/4 cup of salt until dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a stockpot and let cool to room temperature. Stir in the remaining 4 quarts of cold water, then add the pork roast. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375°. Remove the pork from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the roast and pat dry with paper towels. Season well with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat a very large ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat. Add the pork, fat side down, and brown all over, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the roast is well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Carve the pork roast into 8 chops. Serve with Sweet Onion Puree and Crisp Sage Tempura.

Suggested Pairing

A sumptuous Merlot from Washington State is ideal with this tender pork.

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