I started writing this blog to show how cooking can be easy and fun, especially for non or reluctant cooks. This post will not be that. It will showcase a recent dinner party we had with friends, that featured a Crown Roast of Pork, with Wild Rice Stuffing. It’s not a terribly hard recipe, just labor intensive and not a 30-minute weekday meal.
We used to serve a Crown Roast during the holidays when we lived in Cincinnati. Since we moved to Milwaukee 8 years ago, my wife will ask what we should have for dinner, and my traditional response has been “Crown Roast of Pork”. It got a laugh and she said, “no really, what should we have for dinner?”
Finally, in preparation for our dinner party last week, she asked, “What should we serve?”. I gave my standard “Crown Roast of Pork” answer, to which she smiled and said, “Let’s do it!”
How to Cook a Crown Roast of Pork
- Go to your butcher and have them prepare the Roast. Tell the Butcher how many people you are serving for dinner. Estimate about 1.5 Chops per person and the butcher will do the hard work of trimming the ribs, tying the ribs together and giving it to you ready for cooking.
- Marinate and brine the roast the day before (at least 24 hours prior)
- Soak about a dozen dried prunes in cognac (at least 24 hours prior)
- Prepare the Wild Rice stuffing (recipe below). Can be done same day
- Cook the roast with the Wild Rice Stuffing (recipe below)
- Prepare and cook the vegetables (recipes below)
- Assemble the roast & veggies and serve to your guests.
Salt Marinade/Dry Brine Crown Roast (per lb. of Meat)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon each of sage, thyme, and bay leaf
- Pinch of all spice
- 1 garlic clove mashed
The day before serving, rub the salt marinade/brine into the meat, put in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate. Turn the meat every three hours or so.
Soak the prunes in cognac. This should sit over night in the fridge, also. Bring to room temperature before cooking in Wild Rice Stuffing.
Wild Rice Stuffing-
- 2 small onions or shallots, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 small stalks celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons diced mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon sage
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups wild rice & long grain white rice
- Spice mix – Parsley, Garlic Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Natural Smoke Flavor, Turmeric, Paprika
- 3 ½ cups boiling water/ chicken stock combination
To make the stuffing, sauté the vegetables in butter for 10 minutes, in a heavy large pot (that has a cover). Add the herbs, rice, spice mix and boiling water/stock. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to stop any sticking to the pan. Test for seasoning. Let the rice cool before stuffing the Roast.
Cooking the Crown Roast –
There are a couple of ways to cook a crown roast. I opted for the quicker method, which is very high heat to start and moderate temperature until the meat is cooked thru. You will need the following ingredients for roasting – 4 tablespoons of butter and/or oil, 1 onion, thinly sliced, 2 carrots chopped, 4 cloves of garlic, fresh thyme
- Pre-Heat oven to 450
- Rub all of the marinade off of the roast and pat dry with paper towels
- In your large roasting pan, sauté the onions, carrots, garlic and thyme in the butter and/or oil, for about 8-10 minutes, until soft
- Put roast in pan, and fill center with wild rice stuffing
- Top the stuffing with the prunes
- (Optional- cover each exposed rib bone tip with Aluminum Foil, to stop it from burning)
- Roast for 20 minutes at 450
- Turn heat down to 350 and roast approximately 1.5 to 2 hours longer (Check internal temp of the roast every 30 minutes or so)
- Using a meat thermometer between the bones, measure the internal temp. Take out when the temperature reaches 145 degrees.
- Let the roast rest 10-15 minutes.
- Veggies – should be cooked ahead of time and warmed as the roast finishes cooking
- Carrots – are best if roasted. For this dish, better to use whole carrots. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a thin layer of skin. When it comes down to it, you don’t ever really have to peel carrots when they are roasted. As long as you wash and scrub them well to remove dirt, unpeeled carrots are perfectly safe (and delicious) to eat. Place in 425° oven, with Olive Oil & salt and roast for 30 minutes
- Green Beans – Prepare an ice bath for the beans. Trim the ends of the green beans. If possible, cut the beans into more manageable size for eating, after they are trimmed. It also makes the presentation better. After you have prepped the beans, steam them for 3 minutes in a steamer. (you can also par-cook them in boiling water, you will get the same result). Remove them from the steamer and immediately plunge into the ice bath. They will keep their bright green color and retain most of their crunch.
- Brussels Sprouts – Trim the end of the Brussels sprouts, Preheat oven to 425°. On a large baking sheet, drizzle Brussels sprouts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until combined. Roast until the Brussels sprouts are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, about 25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway thru.
- Shallots – Peel the shallots and roast whole. Use the same 425° oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the shallots.
- Cover all of the cooked vegetables with aluminum foil (in separate pans if possible). If you only have one oven, you can put the veggies back in the oven when the Roast comes out to rest.
7 . Assemble the roast & veggies and serve to your guests.
- After the roast has rested, transfer to large round serving platter (may need two sets of hands to transfer) and assemble cooked veggies (see below) around the roast
- When serving the Roast, place some of each veggie on the platter and the remainder can be passed in a separate bowl.