The Ultimate Pork Crown Roast

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 5 hr 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 3 hr
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 12 to14 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 bunch thyme, leaves only

1/2 bunch fresh sage, leaves only

2 cloves garlic, gently smashed and paper removed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

10 pounds pork rib roast (about 12 to 14 ribs)

Apple Pecan Stuffing, recipe follows

Gravy, recipe follows

Watercress, for garnish, optional

Apple Pecan Stuffing:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing

1/2 bunch fresh sage

1/2 bunch fresh thyme

1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups raw pecans

2 eggs

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

5 cups sourdough bread (crusts removed), hand-torn into 1-inch pieces

1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Gravy:

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

1 large onion, roughly chopped

3 ribs celery, roughly chopped

1 medium turnip, peeled and roughly chopped

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled

Extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup apple liqueur (recommended: Calvados)

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

Special equipment:
roasting pan fitted with roasting rack

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set rack on the bottom third of the oven so the roast will fit completely inside.

In a small mixing bowl or mortar and pestle, combine thyme, sage, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste, and mash to break up herbs and garlic. Add oil, about 1 cup, and combine with pestle.

Take crown roast of pork and if your butcher hasn't already prepared it, clean the bones of meat with a boning knife (French them) and make a small cut into the meat in between each rib so you can wrap it into a circle easily; save the scraps. Rub the pork all over with the herb mixture. With the ribs on the outside, wrap the rack around onto itself so the ends meet and secure with kitchen twine so it holds its crown shape. *Cook's note: if you are doing this by yourself, using a skewer to help hold its shape while you wrap the kitchen twine around the roast.

Place in a roasting pan. Add the scraps into the bottom of the pan alongside the roast. This will help add flavor to your sauce. Set aside to bring the pork to room temperature prior to cooking.

Fill the cavity with Apple Pecan Stuffing.

Cover the stuffing and the tips of the rib bones with foil then place the whole roast in the oven and bake for 2 hours and 20 minutes, an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should register 150 degrees F when done. About 30 to 45 minutes prior to doneness, remove the foil to brown the stuffing and create a crust. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Serve with Apple Pecan Stuffing and Gravy. Garnish with watercress, if desired.

Apple Pecan Stuffing:

Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil, sage and thyme sprigs. As the oil heats up the herbs will crackle and fry, infusing the oil. Remove the sage and thyme and set aside on a paper towel to drain - these can be as a garnish, if desired. Add onions to the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes until caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Remove onions from pan and add apples. Crush the pecans and add to the pan. Add more oil, if needed and season with salt and pepper. Gently saute until pecans are lightly toasted and apples are just cooked slightly - about 3 to 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl whisk together egg, cream, chicken stock, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add torn sourdough, caramelized onions, apples, pecans and chopped parsley. Using a wooden spoon, mix the stuffing until well combined.

Gravy:

Place carrots, onion, celery, turnip, apple and garlic in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse textured puree. Once roasting pan comes out of the oven (and meat is removed) set it over medium-high heat on the stove. Add a 2-count of olive oil then add vegetable puree. Sweat for 7 to 8 minutes until most of the moisture has cooked off, then dust with flour. Cook for 2 more minutes stirring well to incorporate all the flour with the fat in the pan. Add the apple liqueur and scrape the bottom of the pan. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring as you go to ensure there are no lumps. Bring to a simmer and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer then remove from heat and strain through a sieve - it's okay if some of the pulp goes through as this will naturally add body to the gravy.

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