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Slow Foods

Breathing room


Source: “MY KEY WEST KITCHEN”, Norman & Justin Van Aken ©, 2012

Yield: Serves 4

2 sour oranges, cut in half

2 oranges, cut in half

4 limes, cut in half

1/2 cup pure olive oil, plus more for searing

8 whole black peppercorns, bruised

2 bay leaves, broken

6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 3 cloves, peeled and cut into studs

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

One 4-bone rack of pork (about 3 1/2 to 4 pounds)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 to 6 bacon strips


1 Tablespoon pure olive oil

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 sweet onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 orange, cut in half

1 Tablespoon freshly toasted and ground cumin seeds

1 1/2 Tablespoons sherry wine vinegar

1/4 cup orange marmalade

Squeeze the juice of the orange and lime halves into a large bowl then toss in the rinds as well.  Add the oil, peppercorns, bay leaves, sliced garlic and red onion and stir to combine.  Place the pork in the marinade, turn the rack a few times to coat evenly, and marinate in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but at least 8 hours, turning it a few times.

Remove the pork from the marinade and gently scrape off any oil and other bits.  Pat dry with paper towels.  Using a sharp knife, puncture the pork all over and push the garlic studs into the holes.  (The holes can be a bit bigger than the studs, so the marmalade mixture to come can seep into the pork as it cooks.). Slash the pork with a crosshatch pattern and season all over with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the glaze:  Heat a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the oil and butter and swirl to melt.  Add the garlic and onion, lower the heat to medium and cook slowly and steadily until caramelized, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding the cumin about halfway through.

Chop one of the orange halves into small pieces.  Squeeze the juice of the other orange half through a fine-mesh strainer (to catch the seeds) into the saucepan.  Toss in the chopped orange, rind and all.  Add the vinegar and reduce by a third.  Stir in the orange marmalade and heat until melted.  Transfer the glaze to a small bowl and let cool slightly.

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Sear the pork on all sides until browned, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Spoon the glaze onto the pork, letting it seep into the punctures.  Lay the bacon strips on top, overlapping slightly.  Wrap the top of the pork roast securely with aluminum foil to keep the bacon from falling off.

Roast the pork in the oven for 45 minutes.  Carefully remove the foil and roast for another 35 to 40 minutes, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F on a meat  thermometer.

Transfer to a cutting board and let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Norman Van Aken has been described as legendary, visionary and a trailblazer. He is known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.