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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Crown Roast of Pork: Tips for Choosing and Roasting

Crown Roast of Pork is truly one of the most magnificent of all holiday entrees, an absolute show-stopper for your family dinner.  Not only is it elegant, it's EASY to prepare and serve as long as you've got a little savvy know-how:

Choosing and Roasting a Crown Roast of Pork (CROP):

1.  Place your Order Ahead of Time for This Specialty Roast.
Make a visit to your butcher and specifically tell him that you want a CROP created from two complete rib racks, chine bones removed, bones 1 through 8 of each rack frenched, then both racks tied together to form a perfect, round crown.  You will then have 16 ribs, enabling you to serve 16 guests a beautiful piece of pork loin.

2.  Lose the Chill and Don't Forget the Beauty Rest.
When you are ready to prepare your CROP, be sure to remove it from refrigeration about an hour ahead of when you want it to go into the oven.  A full CROP typically weighs about 12 lbs., so it's a BIG hunk of meat.  Letting it set for that hour or so will allow the meat to lose it's chill and this beauty rest ensures that your CROP will cook not only a little quicker, but much more evenly as well. 

3.  Find a Seasoning Assistant.
When seasoning your CROP, it works best if you've got an extra set of hands available to help you with this process.  Place the crown on it's side on a large sheet of foil.  As one person holds and turns the roast, the other can work to get the seasonings down into all the crooks and crannies of the CROP to ensure even application and flavor. 

4.  Roast like a Pro.
Position the oven rack into the lower third of the oven, leaving about 2-3 inches of headspace between the CROP and the broiler element.  I like to crank my oven up to about 450 degrees F., place my CROP onto the rack and then turn my oven back down to 350 degrees - this really gets things cookin'!

5.  Use that Instant-Read Meat Thermometer!
After about 2 hours into the roasting process, begin taking the internal temperature of the CROP, checking in several places to be sure the meat is up to temperature throughout.  Insert the probe of the instant-read thermometer into the eye of the meat between the bones at the interior, checking for an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.  (about 18 minutes per lb.)  When this area registers 145 degrees F, continue to roast the CROP an additional 20-25 minutes longer, then remove from the oven.

6.  CROP Carving
After removing the CROP from the oven, use two large spatulas to transfer to a large cutting board; tent CROP with foil and give an additional 20 minutes beauty rest. To carve, clip and discard the kitchen twin that holds the CROP in the crown shape, then slice down between the bones.  Serve with a drizzle of sauce over the top along side your favorite holiday side dishes. 

See?  It's easy and elegant - just like I promised!

Here's the recipe jlink for the Italian-Herbed Crown Roast of Pork that I presented on WIBW 13 News This Morning today:

Now You're Cookin',
Chef Alli