Sunday, October 18, 2015

Herbs and Garlic Crown of Pork Roast...


A late big Thanksgiving dinner with my family and the past Friday`s World Food Day-- sharing good times over food #WFD2015 can only mean celebrating with a roast beast, where a gargantuan piece of meat is the show-stopping focal point of the meal (vegetarians excepted). This kind of meat whether it's beef, turkey, pork or game meat is not as important as its girth (size). You want something that turn heads and get people to clamour around the table in anticipation of that first bite. A crown roast of pork was our dinner's main attraction and what a beast of a feast it was with all the sides and fixings! The butcher at my neighbourhood Coppa's threw in a few more ribs even though I just asked for 15... I ended up with 20 and this baby was a whopping 14 pounds!

It’s the shape that gives crown roast its name. A bone-in pork loin is trimmed of excess fat and gristle so the bones protrude white and shining. Then the whole thing is tied into a ring which can be done by your butcher.
 Traditionally, crown roasts have been cooked with the bones standing up, which gave rise to the tradition of covering them with those frilly little paper toques to keep the tips from burning. However, as I've researched, roasting the meat upside down actually creates a juicier roast-- the juices that drip down from the pork keep the bones from blackening and the layer of fat on the bottom of the roast is exposed to the dry heat of the oven, giving it a chance to brown and crisp. You can use a rack to hold the teetering roast upside down, or, if it’s tied tightly enough, it might be able to balance on its own bones. And don't stuff so you can cook the roast evenly- rather add the cooked stuffing into the cavity afterwards, especially for that spectacular photo opp. before dissecting!


Herbs and Garlic Crown of Pork Roast
Makes 12 to 15 servings (this recipe uses a smaller roast than mine)

1 (10 pound) crown roast of pork (12 to 15 ribs), depending on how meaty the ribs, tied into a circular crown
1/2 bunch of fresh thyme, leaves plucked off stems
1/2 bunch of rosemary, pines chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
zest of one lemon
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

How Many Servings? Generally, it is suggested you plan 3/4 to 1lb. per person which is approximately one (1) rib bone per person. The average Crown Roast will serve about 8 to 10 people. If you are serving fewer people, ask you butcher to tie a smaller roast for you.



I just bought a cute little mortar and pestle, and was so happy breaking it in to make the roast paste. Combine all the ingredient in the mortar except olive oil and mash with the pestle. Add a little olive oil and continue mashing into a paste. Stir in remaining olive oil. TIP: Don't have a mortar and pestle-- use your food processor to whiz everything to a smooth liquid paste. 

Remove thyme leaves and rosemary pines by pulling them off their stems opposite of their growth.

Slice the membrane between each rib chop about an inch in. Rub the pork all over, in between chops and its crevices with the herb mixture. Use disposable plastic gloves to make it easy and mess-free. Marinate overnight covered in fridge for best results.



My son Sébastien helping to prepare a vegetable dip platter. Great job-- getting better at the knife skills-- practice, practice, practice!


Sides for the feast includes roasted thyme cauliflower and broccoli, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed corn and Mixed Green Salad with Fennel and Avocado in a Burnt Almond Vinaigrette.


Remove marinating roast from fridge and leave in room temperature for two hours-- this will bring the roast out of the cold and give you better results. Bake 20 minutes, uncovered, at 450 F. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F. and continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches the desired temperature of 140° to 145°F on a meat thermometer, approximately 2-1/2 hours. Allow about 20 minutes per pound for roasting. Rotate roasting pan halfway through cooking time. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Before serving, pour off the fat juices from the pan-- skim off the excess oil and use the pan juices and scraps for gravy.

Cooked at 145 F internal temp. but would have prefer a moister
roast at 140 F. Next time...

A simple prepared stuffing goes inside and WOW voila!! 




The ultimate salad! Toasting almonds to just short of being burnt gives an interesting slightly bitter dimension to this unique salad dressing. Every time I've served it or brought to a potluck, it is never short of rave reviews. The results are gloriously addictive- full of flavour and textures, and easily a side star at any gathering!

Mixed Green Salad with Fennel and Avocado in a Burnt Almond Vinaigrette

Slice between the chops and serve on a platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs for presentation!



Served the rib chops with my sis-in-law Yoko's homemade pear jam.



Now let's chow!!



Nothing beats sharing good times over good food! What's your beast for your next big feast?



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