Crown Roast of Pork with Fruit Stuffing
Elegant and Easy Entertaining
I have been making crown roast of pork for entertaining for many years. I like to serve this because it makes a spectacular presentation, it is simple to make and is always received with ooohs and ahhhs.
What is A Crown Roast of Pork?
A crown roast of pork is built from one or two racks of ribs from the pork loin. The ribs are frenched, which means the fat and meat on the end of the bones is removed to expose the bones. The ribs are tied together in a circle creating the "crown." Essentially a crown roast is a bunch of pork chops that are still connected. You could french and tie the ribs yourself, or ask a butcher to do it for you. I believe in the wisdom of specialization and ask the butcher to make the crown for me. Why make this easy-to-prepare dish complicated?
How Big Should Your Crown Roast Be?
The minimum size for a crown roast of pork is 13 ribs, because if it is any smaller than that it cannot be tied into a circle. A crown can be much larger with as many as 24 - 26 ribs. Any larger than that and you may have trouble fitting it in the oven. I plan on one rib per person with a few extra ribs for hungry guests or my sons, who are always hungry. Some people plan as much as two ribs per person, but I think that is way more meat than most people eat.
Stuffed with Fruit and Goodness
A crown roast can be stuffed, but depending on the size of the crown, it does not hold a lot of stuffing so additional stuffing is baked outside of the roast in a baking pan.
Created with Gravy in Mind
This roast is cooked over a bed of vegetables and some chicken stock. The vegetable and dripping-infused stock is perfect for making a gravy if you are so inclined.
- 10 T butter, divided
- 1 cup of celery, chopped
- 1 cup leeks, chopped (just the white parts), plus one more leek not chopped
- 4 T thyme, chopped, divided
- ½ pound cipollini or pearl onions, peeled
- 2 green apples, one diced in ½" cubes and one sliced both with the peels on
- 7 cups sourdough bread, in ½" cubes
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- ½ cup dried apricot halves (I prefer tart California apricots)
- ½ cup yellow raisins
- 3 cups cups chicken stock, divided
- 1 handful flat leafed parsley chopped
- Kosher salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 13 rib Crown Roast of Pork or larger
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 T butter
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt 4 T of butter in a large skillet. Saute the leeks, celery and 2 T of thyme over medium heat until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Melt 4 T more butter in the skillet and saute the onions and apples until apples are soft and the onions are just beginning to color, about 5 more minutes.
- Add apple, onions, bread, prunes, apricots, raisins, 1½ cups chicken stock and parsley to the bowl of leeks and celery. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix.
- Rub the crown roast with a generous coating of kosher salt, pepper and the remaining 2 T of chopped thyme.
- Slice the remaining leek in half lengthwise and then into 2" pieces. Place the leek, the remaining sliced apple and the onion slices in the bottom of a roasting pan. Set a roasting rack on top of the vegetables and place the crown roast in the rack. Alternatively, you can set the crown directly on the vegetables. Wrap each bone with a piece of tin foil. Loosely fill the roast with stuffing and cover the stuffing with a piece of foil to prevent from burning. Pour the remaining 1 1 /2 cups of chicken stock in the bottom of the roasting pan. Roast for about 2 to 2½ hours until a thermometer placed in a meaty section (don't let it touch the bone) reaches 140 degrees. The pork temperature will continue to rise while resting and should be 145 degrees or more when served. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. When roast is done allow to rest 15 minutes before serving.
- When the roast is 30 minutes from being done (about 2 hours) put the remaining stuffing in a baking dish, dot with the remaining 2 T butter and cover with foil. Cook for 30 minutes then remove the foil and cook another 15 minutes.