Looking for a replacement for the traditional ham for your Christmas dinner? Try Crown Roast of Pork. It is an elegant entrée for your special holiday dinner.
Normally for Christmas dinner we have ham. However, this year, Susan suggested that we have a Crown Roast of Pork. This is something that I’ve never made before, so I spent a fair amount of time researching the different techniques that could be used.
The first question that I had to answer was whether or not to brine the pork. The answer – yes. The next question was whether to use a liquid brine or a dry rub. Initially, I was going to use the same brine that I use for roast chicken. However, at the last minute I remembered how incredibly good Julia Child’s Rôti de Porc Poêlé was with a dry rub, so I decided to go that route.
I used the following ingredients for the dry rub: Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, dried thyme (because I didn’t have any fresh), chopped fresh rosemary and minced garlic.
Because there are only three of us, I got the smallest roast that the butcher said would work, which was about 6½ pounds. Thought in hindsight I think that a larger one would have made a better presentation.
Making the Crown Roast of Pork
Anyway, I mixed all of the dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
Then I rubbed the mixture into all of the surfaces of the pork, placed the pork in a 2-gallon ziploc bag, and refrigerated it for 8 hours.
After 8 hours, I removed the pork from the refrigerator. I rinsed it well to remove as much of the dry rub as possible and patted it dry. Then I let it sit at room temperature for about an hour before starting the cooking process.
One of the apparent problems in making the Crown Roast of Pork is the uneven cooking of the meat because of its shape. To solve this problem I decided to cook the roast bone side down at a high heat for part of the time and then bone side up at a much lower temperature for the remainder of the time. Specifically, I cooked the roast bone side down at 475° F until it was well browned and had reached a temperature of 110° F, which took about 45 minutes. I carefully flipped the roast bone side up, poured on some Vermouth, and reduced the oven temperature to 300° F. I continued to roast it until the pork registered 145° F, which took another 45 minutes.
I removed the pork from the oven, placed it on a carving board, tented it loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes. During this time, I proceeded to make the mustard cream sauce.
In addition to the pan juices, the ingredients for the mustard cream sauce included apple cider vinegar, peppercorns, heavy whipping cream, dry mustard mixed with some water, unsalted butter and all purpose flour.
I started by pouring the meat juices from the roasting pan into a large skillet. Then I added the vinegar and peppercorns. I boiled the liquid over high heat until it had reduced to about 2 Tablespoons. This took several minutes. Next I added the cream to the skillet and simmered the sauce for 5 minutes. I whisked in the mustard combined with water and simmered the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Because I wanted a thicker sauce, I added beurre meunière made with one tablespoon of softened unsalted butter and one tablespoon of flour. I continued whisking the sauce until it was thickened. Since this was a festive occasion, Susan placed chop frills on the bones of the roast.
I served the Crown Roast of Pork with the mustard cream sauce, roasted potatoes with onions, green bean casserole and a freshly made sourdough baguette. The roast was perfectly cooked and absolutely delicious. Merry Christmas to all! Yum!
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Crown Roast of Pork
- 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped (or 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary)
- 6 cloves garlic minced
Crown Roast of Pork:
- Dry Rub
- 6 to 8 pounds crown roast of pork, prepared by butcher
- ½ cup Vermouth or dry white wine
Mustard Cream Sauce:
- Pan juices from pork
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 10 crushed peppercorns
- 1 ½ cups whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard mixed with 2 teaspoons water
- 1 Tablespoon softened butter
- 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the mixture onto all of the surfaces of the pork. Place the pork in a 2-gallon ziploc bag; refrigerate at 6 to 24 hours.
Crown Roast of Pork
- An hour before cooking, remove pork from refrigerator; rinse well to remove as much of the dry rub as possible. Pat dry with paper towels. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 475° F. Line roasting pan with aluminum foil; place the rack in roasting pan.
- Pat roast dry again with paper towels. Arrange roast, bone side down on the rack. Roast until meat is well browned and registers 110° F, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove roast from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Using 2 bunches of paper towels, carefully flip roast bone side up. Add Vermouth or white wine to pan and return to oven, rotating direction of pan. Roast until meat registers 145° F, 30 to 50 minutes. Place meat on carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. For a festive look, top the bones with chop frills. Serve with mustard cream sauce. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
Mustard Cream Sauce
- Pour meat juices into large skillet. Add the vinegar and crushed peppercorns, and boil until the liquid has reduced to about 2 Tablespoons, several minutes. Add the cream, and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the mustard combined with water, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes more. To thicken the sauce, add beurre meunière made with one Tablespoon of softened unsalted butter and one Tablespoon of flour, and continue whisking until thickened. Yield: 2 cups.