Pork rack with sweet potato mash, smoky bacon molasses sauce & spinach

Pork chops get the American treatment with smoky bacon molasses sauce

Sat, Jun 4, 2016, 03:00

  • Serves: 6
  • Cooking Time: 40 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • Serves 6
  • 6 double thick pork rack chops, French trimmed (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 knobs butter
  • 1kg baby spinach
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sauce:
  • 12 slices smoked streaky bacon, diced
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 punnet vine ripened cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 3tsp cider vinegar
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 6tbsp molasses
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 1 good quality chicken stock cube


Pre-heat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius/gas 4.

Start by making the sauce. Heat a heavy-based non-stick pot and add the smoky bacon. Sauté until the fat is rendered and the bacon is lightly crisp. Add the onions and sweat them down without colouring.

Season lightly with a pinch or two of sea salt and three good pinches of white pepper. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Sauté for one minute then add the vinegar, sugar and molasses. Almost immediately add the water. Bring to the boil, add the stock cube, mix well and leave to boil rapidly and reduce by two-thirds.

Heat a griddle pan until it is smoking. Rub the pork chops with olive oil and season generously with salt and white pepper. Sear until you get a grill mark, then rotate until the grill lines are criss-crossing. Turn them over and repeat. Place them in the pre-heated oven on a roasting tray for 25 minutes.

While the chops are cooking, cover the sweet potatoes with water and boil until tender (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from the heat, drain then place them back in the pot and on the heat again. Shake the pot well, using a spoon to fold the potatoes to stop them sticking. Do this for two to three minutes, until the potatoes are as dry as possible. Now add the butter, season well and mash them.

Remove the pork from the oven, set on a plate, cover with foil and leave to rest for four minutes. While the pork is resting, heat a frying pan, add the olive oil and sauté the spinach. To plate up, divide the potato between six plates, top with a chop, a ladle of sauce, and a spoon of spinach.