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.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing
1/2 bunch fresh sage
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups raw pecans
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
5 cups sourdough bread (crusts removed), hand-torn into 1-inch pieces
1/4 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Set a large saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil, sage and thyme sprigs. As the oil heats up the herbs will crackle and fry, infusing the oil. Remove the sage and thyme and set aside on a paper towel to drain – these can be as a garnish, if desired. Add onions to the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes until caramelized. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove onions from pan and add apples. Crush the pecans and add to the pan. Add more oil, if needed and season with salt and pepper. Gently saute until pecans are lightly toasted and apples are just cooked slightly – about 3 to 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl whisk together egg, cream, chicken stock, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add torn sourdough, caramelized onions, apples, pecans and chopped parsley. Using a wooden spoon, mix the stuffing until well combined.
Scoop stuffing into cavity of pork crown roast and cook accordingly with roast.
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.
*I made these for Thanksgiving and for Christmas dinner this is how good it is. For Christmas I just did half rack not a crown, it was a small group. I have read some of the reviews, some didn’t make the stuffing but made a gravy. I guess it’s really up to you if you’re a gravy person or stuffing or do both and everybody will be happy. I got lucky my butcher did the all the work for preparing my crown roast. I did follow exactly the recipe, thinking this is my first time cooking it. I wanted it to be perfect. enJOY!!!