CROWN ROAST OF PORKStuffed With Wild Rice, Fresh Fennel Bulb And Sausage
Yields: 10 Generous servings with leftovers.
I think that a Crown Roast Of Pork can capture the true spirit of any holiday or special occasion; especially when it is bedecked in all of it's elegant
finery; as shown in this Christmas celebration dinner image.
Crown roasts can easily be decorated to match whatever the occasion. Just use your imagination.
I have prepared this recipe several times using different stuffings and cooking techniques. I am going to outline two cooking techniques that I feel certain will please your palates.
The first technique is the standard cooking method; stuffing and roasting. Which yields a delicious roast.
The second method, the one I think I prefer; a little more time consuming, but allows you to do the major preparation in advance.
The first step is to take the un-stuffed crown and smoke it in a water smoker using a very lite smoke source, such as produced by fruit woods or mesquite.
I will outline both procedures and you can make your own decision.
One last thought. A crown pork roast needs to consist of at least 16 ribs in order to maintain a beautiful shape.
It is preferable to have the butcher leave the rib bones long and "french" them. In any case, the bones must be "frenched" in order to insert the paper frills after roasting.
For fresh baked crown
- 1 16 Rib fresh pork crown roast.
- 2 Tsp. Salt.
- 1 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper.
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Dried thyme, crumbled.
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Crumbled, dried sage.
- 2 Tbs. Vegetable oil.
For smoked pork crown roast
1 16 Rib fresh pork crown roast.
2 Tsp. Salt.
1 Tsp. Freshly ground black pepper.
1 1/2 Tsp. Dried thyme, crumbled.
1 1/2 Tsp. Crumbled, dried sage.
2 Tbs. Vegetable oil.
1 Cup apple jelly.
2 Tbs. Apple cider vinegar.
1 Tbs. Dark brown sugar, firmly packed.
- 1/3 Cup wild rice, uncooked.
- 1/3 Cup brown rice, uncooked.
- 1/3 Cup White rice, uncooked.
- 1 1/2 Tsp. Fennel seeds.
- 10 Ounces sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings.
- 1 1/3 Cups Chopped onions.
- 6 Tbs. Unsalted butter.
- 1 Small fennel bulb, finely chopped.
- 2 Cups Chicken stock. Homemade is the best.
- Water as needed. See rice cooking instructions below.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
PREPARE STUFFING MIXTURE
- Prepare rices according to manufacturers cooking instructions, substituting 2/3 cup chicken stock for part of the water required and add 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds to each mixture. Reserve.
- Place a fry pan over moderate heat and heat until hot. Add sausage meat and stir-fry, breaking up the lumps, until cooked through. No longer pink. Pour off fat.
- Place sausage meat in the work bowl of a food processor and grind fine. Do not over-process. Do not make a paste.
- Using the same fry-pan, add butter and melt over moderately low heat. Add onions, stir and cook until they are softened. Add chopped fennel and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes or until fennel is crisp tender.
- In a bowl combine the rices, the sausage, the fennel mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the stuffing mixture well to incorporate all ingredients.
- NOTE: The stuffing may be prepared up to two days in advance, cool, cover and refrigrate. Bring to room temperature before using.
PREPARE FRESH PORK ROAST
- One day prior to roasting, prepare roast as follows;
- In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, thyme and sage. Mix well.
- Rub the roast all over with the mixture. Cover and chill overnight.
- When ready to roast, pat the pork dry with paper towels and rub it with the oil.
- Place a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil, slightly larger than the bottom of the pork roast, in a shallow roasting pan. Center the pork roast on the foil.
- Place stuffing in cavity of roast creating a domed effect. Do not pack real tight. Cover the stuffing with a small piece of oiled foil.
- Any remaining stuffing may be placed in a small covered baking dish or wrapped in a foil packet, baked and served separately.
- Roast the pork in a 450°F. pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325°F. and roast the pork for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Or, until a meat thermometer registers 150°F., for medium done.
- Transfer the roast, with foil intact, to a serving platter and let rest for 15 minutes. Discard the foil from over the stuffing.
- Decorate the rib tips with foil or paper "booties." Arrange an assortment of fruits and veggies around the roast to further enhance your creation.
- I serve the roast with whatever type of sauce that strikes my fancy that day. Such as; madiera, calvados or just a plain chicken stock swirled around the roasting pan and slightly thickened with butter. A mustard sauce is also a good choice. Any green vegetable would be a good accompaniment.
PREPARATION FOR SMOKED PORK CROWN
I use an electric water smoker similar to this picture. They do a fantastic job and make excellent BBQ grills as well.
You may smoke your roast up to 3 days in advance, cool, cover and refrigerate. Or, you may smoke it up to a month in advance and freeze. Which ever method you use, the smoked roast must be brought to room temperature before the final oven roasting.
Prepare your smoker as per your smoker directions. I use only about 3 chunks of "flavoring wood." We don't want to overpower the pork with smoke flavor. We just want to pre-cook it with a hint of aroma and color.
- Prepare stuffing mixture as indicated above. Reserve, cool, cover and refrigerate.
- Prep pork roast as outlined in instruction 1 above.
- When ready to smoke, pat dry and rub roast with a little vegetable oil and place on top grid of smoker.
Based on the size of my roast, type of smoker I use, and the prevailing climatic conditions; the smoke/cooking process takes about 2 1/2 hours for the roast to reach an internal temperature of 150°F. I prefer my pork to be cooked slightly above medium.
- When your roast has reached your desired degree of doneness, reserve as indicated above. Either refrigerate or freeze.
- When ready for final preparation, bring to room temperature, place on shallow roasting pan and stuff as instructed above.
- Prepare the glaze mixture by combining the apple jelly, cider vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pan, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally to disolve the sugar. Reserve and keep warm.
- For the final cooking, brush the entire pork surface with some of the glaze and place in a pre-heated 325°F. oven.
- Roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes, brushing occasionally with the glaze.
- When cooked, proceed as instructed in the Fresh Pork prep instructions, line items 5, 6 and 7 above.