Sunday, January 27, 2013

Our Christmas Mini Crown Roast of Pork

I am sorry to say, as I continue to add years to my life, doctors seem to take precedence over my blog entries, but I am now ready to pursue excellence in the kitchen once again.

This time we will enter the arena of upscale presentations by attempting the nearly impossible task of creating a MINI crown roast of Pork with only 8 ribs, Normally a crown roast consists of 13 to 18 ribs to attain a well-shaped and lovely appearing crown. However, with only two people in our house, it becomes a challenge to shrink everything we prepare down to servings of 4, taking into consideration the importance of “leftovers”. I assure you this was a daunting task but the end result was absolutely delicious and yes…we have an abundance of “leftovers”

The Ingredients I used were standard seasonings and thank goodness I was able to rescue some of our fresh herbs from the garden before the freezing weather took its toll.

Ingredients for the Pork:

4-6 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped.
4 or 5 stems of fresh Rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
4 or 5 stems of fresh Sage, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 or 3 stems of fresh Thyme. leaves stripped
1 tsp.  Red pepper flakes
½ cup Olive oil
1 - 8 Rib Pork Loin Roast
Kosher Salt to taste
Butchers Twine for tying the roast. 

To make the pan sauce, you will need:

3 or 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Ribs of celery, diced
1 Sweet onion- diced
1 Fennel bulb-sliced and diced
1 Carrot halved and ¼’ sliced
4 cups Chicken stock
1 cup (+/-) Dry white wine
2 or 3  Bay leaves
 Kosher salt to taste


Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Here’s the tricky part.  The membrane between the ribs must be slit so the roast can be curled around to enable it to stand upright. Be very careful not to slit all the way through as the ribs will then become unattached and the roast will fall apart. Also be aware the ribs must be curved outward at the finish.  By keeping this in mind, you will understand which side of the membrane to slit.

In a small bowl combine the garlic, rosemary, sage, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Sprinkle the roast with the salt and brush both sides with the olive oil/herb mixture.

Stand the roast upright and curl it around so that both ends meet and the ribs are curved outward. Tie the roast securely with two loops of twine and place the roast upright on a rack in a medium size roaster. Now would be a good time to cover the tips of the bones with foil to prevent scorching.

Place the garlic, and diced vegetables, the bay leaves and ¾ of the chicken stock and all the wine around the pork.  This will be the base for your sauce. While the oven temperature is at 425 degrees, begin to brown the meat for about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F., roast the pork for an additional 2 1/2 hours, basting several times and rotating the pork each time you baste. If you need more liquid, add the remaining chicken stock.

With an instant read thermometer check the roast about the time you last baste it and when the thermometer reads 140-145 degrees your roast should be done about medium. Remove the roast from the oven, transfer to a serving platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 25 minutes. It will continue to cook while resting.

Bring the pan juices to a boil, taste, re-season if needed, and if you wish to have a smooth sauce, remove the bay leaves, place the vegetables in a blender and pulse a few times.  This will provide you with a smooth, delicious sauce.

Now it is time to remove the twine, cut between the ribs to create chops, top with pan sauce and enjoy.

Clark Williams

Side note: If the task of curling the roast becomes too laborious or frustrating, simply place the entire roast lengthwise in a roaster and continue with the cooking instructions.
The end result will look different but will taste just as good.

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