I try to keep our Christmas dinner memorable but simple in terms of time and energy required. For me, a pork crown roast fills the bill. It makes a terrific presentation and when cooked properly is moist and delectable.
With my daughter Sara making the stuffing and Roger’s able assistance (as always) the cooking was a breeze this year. I opted to make a do-ahead gravy which was a new recipe for me, and it turned out well. The pork itself was cooked to perfection, and very moist. At the end of the meal, I looked around the table and saw six identical plates—empty except for a bone!
Pork Crown Roast
- 1 8- to 9-pound crown roast of pork (14 to 22 ribs, depending on how meaty the ribs, Frenched and prepped by the butcher. You will need to order the roast in advance from your butcher)
- 1 tbl. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1 tbl. chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Stuffing of your choice—here’s mine
Prepare stuffing; set aside until ready to use. (I made mine the day before to save time on Christmas Day.)
Mix together the roast seasonings of thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Rub all over the roast. Let roast sit (wrapped) at room temperature for an hour before roasting.
Preheat oven to 450o F. Position oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Place roast, bone tips up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Fill the center of the crown (the cavity) with the prepared stuffing. Place aluminum foil over the stuffing to keep the top from drying out. Put leftover stuffing in a separate casserole dish and bake, covered, at 350o for approximately 45 mins. Also place a small piece of aluminum foil over each of the bone tips so that they will not burn.
Bake pork roast 10 minutes, uncovered, at 450o F. Reduce oven temperature to 325o F and continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches the desired temperature of 140o F to 145o F on a meat thermometer, approximately three hours’ cooking time. (Allow 20 to 25 minutes per pound of meat for cooking time. My 9-lb. stuffed roast cooked to perfection in 3 hours.)
The roast will give off plenty of juice to make a pork gravy. I chose instead to serve a make-ahead gravy to save time on a busy day.
Source: Adapted from an online recipe