The Ultimate Pork Crown Roast
12 to 14 servings
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
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.
- Yield: Makes 4 to 5 dozen empanada turnovers.
- 16 ounces cream cheese (do not use light), room temperature
- 8 ounces (2 sticks, 1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg, beaten, for pastry egg wash
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 Tbsp sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
1 Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, until well blended. Slowly add in the flour, mixing until incorporated. Form two balls (it will be easier to work with 2 separate pieces of dough), then flatten each into a disk. Dust with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2 While dough is chilling, heat a large frying pan on medium high/high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon or so of salt on the bottom of the pan. Break off bits of ground pork and add to the pan, until all the pork is added without crowding. Do not stir. Let the pork brown. Once nicely browned on one side, then use a spatula to flip the pieces to the other side so the other side can brown. Once the pork is nicely browned on 2 sides, reduce the heat on the pan to medium, and remove the pork to a bowl.
3 Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to the pan. Then add the finely chopped onion. Let onions gently cook on medium heat for a few minutes until translucent. Add the minced garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the finely chopped mushrooms, cooking for a few minutes more. Add the curry powder, ground coriander, and cardamom to the pan. Mix the spices in with the onion mix. Add the ground pork back to the pan, mixing in the seasoned onion mix. Add the raisins. Add the sherry, soy sauce, sugar, and corn starch, mixing well. Break bigger pieces of ground pork with the edge of a metal spatula. Remove from heat, and chill until time to stuff the pastries.
4 Preheat oven to 375°F. On a lightly floured, smooth, clean surface, roll out one of the dough rounds to a thin 1/8-inch thickness. (If refrigerated for more than an hour, you may need to let it sit for 10 minutes to soften it enough to roll it out more easily.) Use a wide-mouthed jar (about 3 inches wide) to cut out rounds. Place them on a baking sheet.
During this and the next step, if the dough becomes too soft and therefore difficult to work with, put whatever you are working on in the refrigerator to chill for 5 or 10 minutes.
5 Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the inside edge of the rounds with egg wash (to help the empanadas seal). Place a teaspoon of meat inside each round. Fold the round over to and press the edges to seal shut. Use the tines of a fork to flute the edges. Place standing upright on a baking sheet, spaced an inch apart. (You can also lie them down, but with them upright, you'll fit more on a pan.) Use a pastry brush to brush the sides (not the bottom) of the empanadas with more egg wash.
6 Working in batches, cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.