Monday, December 28, 2009

Crown Roast Pork for New Year's Eve Dinner

New Year’s Eve is that time of year when you want a truly special meal to surprise your guests. There are times when we are willing to roll up our sleeves and work a little harder. A guest’s reaction is all the thanks you need.

The Crown Roast Pork is a crowd pleaser. When you entertain over a holiday it can be difficult to decide what to serve, especially when you want to cook something spectacular. There are some meats and lots of fish that don’t get eaten. As a chef, you dread a full plate coming back to the kitchen.

Pork Tips-

Pork needs to be cooked through to 160 degrees F. When you cook pork through it can leave the pork tough and tasteless. However, the Crown Pork Roast is special because it is moist, flavorful and has a beautiful presentation.

Ask your butcher to do a lot of the work. Have him tie the ends together to give it that finished crown look. The bones keep the meat extra moist and the bag allows it to slow cook in its own juices. The liquid in the bag is heated and evaporates to the top and, when it can’t escape, it collects on the top and then rains all over the pork basting itself.

The Meat should be fork tender and melt in your mouth. Enjoy!

Crown Roast of Pork- (CRP?)

7.5 lbs. Pork for 10 people

1 bunch Chervil

3 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 small bunch Sage

1 small bunch Parsley

2 sprigs Thyme

½ cup Chicken stock

1 head of garlic with the top takeoff

Salt and pepper

Baking bag (you might want to use one that fits a turkey and make sure to follow the directions on the bag so the bag doesn’t burst during the cooking process)

Gently rinse the pork and dry. Place the pork inside the baking bag and inside the baking dish that is around 4 inches in depth. Leave the bag open and roll down the sides so you can fill the center of the pork with herbs and garlic. Lightly coat the CRP with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut the pointed end of the garlic off and place cut side up inside the middle of the CRP. Next, loosely add in the herbs to the center of the CPR above the garlic. Add the chicken stock to the bottom of the bag. Tie off the bag and bake in a 350 degree oven for two and a half hours.

Stuffing- This recipe will make extra stuffing that you will be able to cook in a side dish as well as stuff the pork.

1 small Butternut squash peeled and diced to dime size pieces

1 c Brioche Croutons*

2 Fuji Apples peeled and diced

¼ raisins

1/8 c chopped Sage

2 Onions diced

½ Leek diced

¼ c Chicken stock

¼ c water

In a small Sautee pan, add the water and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the raisins to re-hydrate them and turn the water to simmer. Cook them for a few minutes and then add the diced apples. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

In a large sauté pan, sauté the leek and onion in olive oil and butter on medium heat. Add salt to release the flavor. Add in the diced Butternut squash (you may need to add more olive oil) stirring frequently and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until the butternut squash is cooked through. Next, add in the apples, raisins and sage. Continue to stir. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the brioche bread croutons. Add chicken stock and stir incorporating all of the components. Set aside until the CRP is finished cooking.

After two and half hours, remove the CRP and place on a cutting board for a few minutes. Save the liquid and strain it into a saucepot. Reduce the strained liquid by 2/3’s. Place the pork back into the baking dish without (without is always one word) the bag and remove the dried herbs and garlic. (You can squeeze the now roasted garlic into the stuffing or you can throw the garlic away). Add the stuffing to the middle of the CRP. Pile the stuffing to the top of the bones. Place the CRP back in the oven and cook for 30 more minutes. Any remaining stuffing can be placed in a separate baking dish and cooked as well.


Reduced liquid

3 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp chopped Sage

Salt and pepper

Reduce the liquid from the pork by 2/3rds (the same from above) in a small sauce pot. Once it is reduced, remove from the fire and swirl in butter, sage salt and pepper. When the roast is finished and the stuffing is brown, pour the sauce over the whole roast. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve by slicing the CRP into sections so that each person gets a bone.

Serve with kale.


3- 4 Bunches of kale

½ cup water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 lemons halved

Salt and pepper

Remove from the stem. Add to a large sauté pan with boiling water. Stirring frequently, wait until all the water has evaporated and add in the olive oil lemon salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

*Brioche Croutons

1 cup diced brioche cubes about dime size

½ c olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl add croutons, olive oil and salt. Toss lightly. Place on a greased sheet tray and toast for 4-5 minutes then turn and cook for a few more minutes. Set aside

Happy Cooking!

Chef Mary

For more great Chef Mary's Cooking Tips, Recipes or Stories- Please go to my Column- Hail Mary Food of Grace at the Washington Times Communities or to find out more information about Chef Mary please go to her Hail Mary's Inc website or email her questions for Ask Chef Mary Friday's at

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