Looking for more holiday meal ideas? Pork is a traditional meat for many holidays, Easter being the most popular. You see beautiful pictures of a Crown Roast of Pork in magazines, sometimes with those cute little paper chef hats on each bone (called paper frills) and think they’re complicated to make… but they aren’t. In fact, it is an excellent choice for both the experienced and the novice cook.
First stop… the Butcher
I know I’ve said this before… the butcher… a good one.. is your friend. I have had loads of help from my grocery stores' butchers. They’re eager to help and really have a wealth of information.
But… as with many experts who are passionate about their subject… a butcher going on about your choices can overwhelm you with information. The best advice I can give you… do a little reading before hand… so when you ask your butcher for help.. you’re not lost in all the information.
Ordering a Crown Roast
I highly recommend that you order it in advance. With the holiday still a couple of weeks away, stop by the butcher and ask how much advance notice you will need to give him to order a Crown Roast of Pork. While you’re there, ask him what size he recommends for the number of people you plan to serve. Then go home and do a little research, plan your menu and then order your meat.
I have gotten burned too often by either not ordering enough or way too much. In all fairness to the butcher, he doesn’t know what else I plan on serving and just what kind of meat eaters are among my guests. Take his recommendation and think about it before ordering. I’d recommend two chops per person as a generous serving.
So Just What is a Crown Roast of Pork?
A Crown Roast of Pork is made up of pork rib roast/ rack of pork. It’s formed by tying the rack into a circle with the ribs standing up. I have always had the butcher do it.
Before roasting … or it can also be barbecued… there is a bit of prep work that needs to be done. I have always had the butcher do this also. The roast needs to be … what is called… “Frenched”. What this means is … the meat needs to be cut away from the end of each rib so that part of each bone is exposed.
Okay so now you have your roast… let’s go over your cooking options. Roasting is by far your best choice. It is easy and pretty hassle free. It leaves you time to concentrate on other parts of your meal.
There are articles on how to barbecue one, but they are few and far between…. However.. if you are intent on barbecuing… here is an article to help you. I have never barbecued one and not sure I ever will, I like roasting mine.
The National Pork Board follows the guidance of the US Department of Agriculture recommendations, which say to cook roasts to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F., followed by a 3-10 minute rest time.
Roast in a shallow pan, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes a pound and be sure to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Cover the ends of the bone with a strip of foil.
Brining is marinating meat in a salty liquid, usually water, and sometimes with other liquids, such as, in the case of pork, apple cider.
Many people brine their crown roasts before roasting, it makes the meat tender and does infuse flavor also. There are a number of popular recipes, one of the best is by Williams Sonoma.
There are a variety of basting sauces to use… typically the roast is seasoned and basted before and periodically during roasting.
Some recipes stuff the center and then cook the roast stuffed… some cook them separately and spoon the stuffing into the hollow just before serving. Both methods are good… it can just be personal choice which method to go with.
A word of caution, stuffing it and roasting it stuffed can be tricky… you don’t want the meat to be done and the stuffing not. Make sure you don’t overstuff it.
I recommend making them separately and spooning the stuffing in before serving or cooking them separately and spooning some of the stuffing in the center about 30 minutes before the roast is finished cooking, then returning it to the oven, this way everything is thoroughly cooked and the stuffing in the center has a little crust on top when it comes out of the oven.
As with the basting sauce, stuffings vary widely and are really personal choice. My Apple Cranberry Stuffing recipe was actually a recipe I found years ago and was for a Crown Roast of Pork…. I used it for Cornish Game Hens and have used it for turkey almost every Thanksgiving since.
How to Carve a Crown Roast
Insert a large carving fork in the side between two ribs to steady it. Using a large sharp carving knife, cut down each rib to cut each chop off.
Need Roasting Pans, Accessories, Recipe Ideas or Even Wine Pairings?
Check out Williams Sonoma, they have everything you may want to add to your kitchen supplies and they have wonderful recipe ideas and serving ideas. The wonderful main picture above is for their Brined Crown Roast of Pork.
I hope I took some of the mystery out making a Crown Roast of Pork and inspired you to try it. Pork is always a wonderful choice, easy to make and low in fat… after all … it is the other white meat.
Raw Crown Roast of Pork by Pork Be Inspired
Header picture by Williams Sonoma
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