Crown Roast of Pork

A crown roast of pork is the most dramatic cut of meat I know. It makes it the perfect piece de resistance at your autumn celebrations. The lavishness of the recipe is supported by the stuffing of sourdough bread, white wine and sumptuous dried fruits. It’s a feast fit for kings, loved family members and dear friends. Servings: 1 pound per person

1 16-bone frenched crown roast of pork ( about 12 pounds)

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

For the stuffing:

16 cups sourdough bread in 1 inch cubes

4 1/2 cups dry white wine

1 cup Granny Smith apples, chopped small

7 1/2 ounces dried tart cherries (1 1/2 cups)

7 1/2 ounces golden raisins (about 1 1/2 cups)

4 ounces butter, cut into pieces

4 cups minced celery

2 1/2 cups shallots, minced

1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, minced

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup apple brandy (Calvados)

Nutmeg For the sauce

1/3 cup apple brandy

1/3 cup apple cider

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350* and position oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Spread the bread cubes on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until dry, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Bring wine, apples, cherries and raisins to a boil in a 5 quart pot over medium heat. Lower temperature to a simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until fruit is very tender and wine is reduced to about 1/2 cups, 30 minutes. Melt butter in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add celery and shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in thyme, sage, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add to fruit mixture, stir well, and let cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.

Add bread cubes and apple brandy to fruit mixture and stir well to combine. Place roast in a heavy duty roasting pan with bones pointing up, at room temperature for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to a position in the lower third of the oven. Make sure

there are several inches of space between the roast and the broiler element. Heat oven to 350*. Season pork by rubbing outside with oil and sprinkling with salt and pepper. Spoon about half the stuffing into the center of roast, packing it tightly and mounding it at the top. Loosely cover bones and stuffing with a piece of foil. Roast 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil and continue roasting until an instant read thermometer inserted between the bones into the eye of the meat registers 150*, about 30 more minutes. Check temperature in several places, including interior top section of meat, to be sure meat is the correct temperature throughout. If stuffing or bones start to get too brown, cover with foil.

Lift the whole stuffed roast to a carving board using metal spatulas. Reserve juice in the pan. Let pork rest for 30 minutes while you heat remaining stuffing and prepare sauce. Spoon remaining stuffing into a 2 quart baking dish and heat oven to 400*. Cook uncovered until golden, about 30 minutes.

For the sauce

Use a fat separator and pour in juices from the roast. Set roasting pan over medium heat, add apple brandy, and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Pour the broth

into roasting pan allowing fat to remain in the separator. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring with a spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 8 minutes. Mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the cream and heat through.Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a gravy boat for serving. To carve, use a large chef’s knife to slice between the bones. Season the meat with kosher salt and serve with the stuffing and the sauce.

Special thanks to Beth Blalock for styling and creating this wonderful recipe!

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