Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Beer-marinated rack of pork with Swiss-chard gratin

Prep time overnight
Cook time overnight
Serves 6
From James Martin: Home Comforts
This easy, lip-smacking dish needs to be prepared well ahead, but requires very little attention - just sit back and let the oven work it's magic.


  1. For the pork, pour 100ml/3½fl oz cold water into a large saucepan. Add the sea salt flakes and sugar and heat over a low heat until dissolved, stirring well. Remove the pan from the heat and add 400ml/14fl oz cold water, the peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, unsoaked yellow mustard seeds, thyme, parsley and beer.

  2. If the pork loin rack fits into the pan, add it to the pan. Otherwise, place the pork loin rack in a large bowl and pour over the liquid. Cover and chill in the fridge for 24 hours to marinate, turning the pork occasionally.

  3. When the pork has marinated, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.

  4. Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  5. Heat 50g/1¾oz of the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the pork loin rack and fry for a few seconds on all sides, or until lightly browned all over. Transfer the pork loin rack to a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, blend the brioche, English mustard powder and soaked yellow and brown mustard seeds to a paste in a food processor with the remaining butter. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then set aside.

  7. For the gratin, arrange half of the Swiss chard in a layer at the bottom of an ovenproof dish and top with half the potatoes. Sprinkle over the onion, then top with layers of the remaining Swiss chard and potatoes.

  8. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and whisk well to combine with the melted butter. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking regularly, then gradually pour in the milk, whisking continuously, until all of the milk has been incorporated and the mixture has thickened to a smooth sauce.

  9. Whisk in the stock and half of the Gruyère and stir until melted. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  10. Pour the sauce all over the chard and potatoes. Sprinkle over the remaining Gruyère.

  11. After the pork has been cooking for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and decrease the temperature to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  12. Spread the brioche and mustard paste all over the top of the pork loin rack in a thick layer, then return the pork to the oven, along with the Swiss-chard gratin. Cook both for a further 45 minutes, or until the pork is cooked to your liking and the crumb has crisped up and turned golden-brown, and the Swiss-chard gratin is bubbling and golden-brown.

  13. When the pork is cooked to your liking, set it aside to rest for 15 minutes (keep warm). Continue cooking the Swiss-chard gratin for a further 15 minutes, if necessary; otherwise, keep warm.

  14. To serve, carve the pork loin rack into six chops. Place one onto each serving plate and spoon the Swiss-chard gratin alongside.


For the pork

  • 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tbsp soaked in cold water overnight
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 500ml/18fl oz beer, preferably a good-quality ale
  • 1 x 1-1.2kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 10oz six-rib pork loin rack, French-trimmed (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 75g/2½oz unsalted butter
  • 100g/3½oz brioche, roughly torn
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds, soaked in water overnight

For the gratin

  • 700g/1lb 9oz Swiss chard, trimmed, chopped into 2cm/¾in slices
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5cm/½in pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  • 400ml/14fl oz full-fat milk
  • 200ml/7fl oz chicken stock
  • 100g/3½oz Gruyère, grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shopping List

Beer-marinated rack of pork with Swiss-chard gratin

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry


This link may stop to work if/when the BBC removes the recipes
This site is under development - You can use it, but some things are not completed and may not be quite right!