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Crown Roast

This year we tried something new for Christmas Dinner – a crown roast of pork! I was a little nervous about it, but it really wasn’t that difficult…It just takes some time, and finesse, I guess you could say.

Crown Roast of Pork

Crown Roast of Pork with Pear and Chestnut Stuffing
Adapted from Food Network
Serves 10-12


For the Pork:

  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh sage, picked and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 13-rib pork loin, membrane between the rib bones slit to allow the pork to curl around and stand up
  • Kosher salt

For the Pan Sauce:

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt

For the Pear and Chestnut Stuffing:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 Spanish onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 8 ounces peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 Anjou pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 12 cups cubed crustless, stale sourdough or peasant bread
  • 2-4 cups chicken stock (dependent on how moist you like your stuffing and how stale your bread is)


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

For the pork: In a small bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, sage and crushed red pepper with 1/2 cup olive oil. Sprinkle the pork generously with salt and brush both sides with the olive oil herb paste.

Make the Stuffing:

Coat a wide, straight-sided pan with olive oil and add the bacon. Bring the pan to a medium heat and let the bacon get brown and crispy.

Add the celery, onions and fennel and season with salt. Cook the veggies until they get soft and very aromatic, 8 to10 minutes. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.

Toss in the chestnuts, cranberries and pears, and stir to combine. Add the wine and let it reduce by half.

Put the bread in a large mixing bowl and add the cooked veggie mixture to the bread. Stir to combine and douse the bread with half the stock. Use your hands to combine the bread, veggies and stock. Add more stock when/if needed to really saturate the bread. Season with salt and taste it to make sure it is delicious.

Back to the Pork: Stand the pork rack up and curl it around so that the two ends meet; be sure that the thick meaty part of the pork is on the inside. Secure the roast by tying it twice around the outside of the roast with twine.

Place the pork in a large roasting pan fitted with a pizza pan tray (or you can heavily line your roasting pan rack with foil if the roast fits) and stuff the center of the pork with the Pear and Chestnut Stuffing. (There will be leftover stuffing. Place the leftover stuffing in a baking dish and cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F.)

For the pan sauce: Place the garlic and diced veggies around the pork. Add half the chicken stock, the wine and bay leaves to the pan. Sprinkle everything with salt.

Cover the pork bones with aluminum foil to prevent the bones from burning. Place the pork in the oven. Roast until the pork is starting to brown, about 30 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.

Roast the pork for 2 1/2 more hours, basting the pork occasionally. Rotate the pork a couple of times during the cooking time. If the liquid level reduces, replace it with the remaining stock.

When the pork is cooked to the proper doneness – an instant-read thermometer should read 140 to 145 degrees F – remove it from the oven. Carefully transfer the pork to a serving platter and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the pork rest for 20 to 25 minutes.

Bring the pan juices to a boil. Taste and re-season if needed. Blend the veggies if desired to create a smoother sauce. We blended the veggies, then in a separate pan created a roux with butter and flour. We slowly added the blended veggies to create a delicious gravy.

To serve: Remove the twine. Scoop out the stuffing and cut the pork in between the bones to create chops. Top with pan sauce.