My eyes popped out of my head those years ago, my gran looking at me and smiling as she did whenever she placed a visually stunning food presentation in front of the family. Those days are so full of wow’s and mmm’s they are embedded in my memory.
“There, a treat to behold,” she would say. The Crown Roast of Pork is a jewel sitting at the centre of the dinner table, the guests’ eyes looking at the glistening presentation as the juice trickles down the curves of the meat.
Watching as your guests eye a piece that has their name on it. Carving the roast in front of them, the whiteness of the meat, the tenderness and ease of carving is extremely mouth-watering, and the aroma of the fresh stuffing explodes as each plate is laid out.
An easy dish to prepare and, I have to say, well worth the effort.
Ingredients – stuffing
3 cups of bread crumbs
1 medium, finely chopped onion
3 stalks finely chopped celery
4 chopped apples – leave chunky
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
½ cup chopped parsley
4 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend together thoroughly.
1 10-rib crown roast, (Ask your butcher to prepare.)
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
Place the oven shelf on the lowest rung, then preheat oven to 350 F. While the oven is warming, set the crown roast in the roasting pan.
Sprinkle the roast with salt, both the outside and the inside. Do the same with the pepper. Place the stuffing inside the centre cavity and cover loosely with foil. Wrap each tip of the roast with foil, to ensure you do not burn them.
Place the pork on the bottom shelf in the middle of the oven. The roast will take between 2¼ and 2 ½ hours to cook completely. After 1¾ hours remove the foil from the stuffing to give it time to brown. Check the temperature of the pork after 2¼ hours; if it reads 160 F remove and place on a carving tray. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes. The temperature will rise a little, giving you a perfect piece of pork.
Finally, if you can find some, place miniature chef’s hats on each tip and dress with some seasonal vegetables, place in the centre of your table and watch your guests’ eyes.
Ian Leatt is general manager of Pegasus Publications.