Thursday, September 4, 2014

Crown Roast of Pork Family Dinner

Serves 10 to 12

A crown roast is 2 bone-in pork loin roasts, with the rib bones frenched and chine bones removed, that have been tied into a crown shape. This can be difficult to do, so ask your butcher to make this roast for you. We wrap extra kitchen twine around the widest part of roast to provide more support when flipping. Use potatoes that measure 1 to 2 inches in diameter.


  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8- to 10-pound) pork crown roast
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed
  • 10 ounces shallots, peeled and halved
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and halved
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth


  1. 1. Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon pepper, thyme, rosemary, and garlic in bowl; reserve 2 teaspoons for vegetables. Pat pork dry with paper towels and rub with remaining herb salt. Wrap kitchen twine twice around widest part of roast and tie tightly. Refrigerate roast, covered, for 6 to 24 hours.
    2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Place V-rack inside large roasting pan. Toss potatoes, shallots, apples, 4 tablespoons butter, and reserved herb salt in large bowl and transfer to pan. Arrange roast bone side down in V-rack and brush with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Roast until meat is well browned and registers 110 degrees, about 1 hour.
    3. Remove roast from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Using 2 bunches of paper towels, flip roast bone side up. Add apple cider to pan and return to oven, rotating direction of pan. Roast until meat registers 140 degrees, 30 to 50 minutes. Place meat on carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Transfer apple halves to blender, and potatoes and shallots to bowl. Pour pan juices into fat separator, let liquid settle for 5 minutes, and then pour into blender. Add chicken broth to blender with apples and pan juices and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to sauce medium saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm. Remove twine from roast, slice meat between bones, and serve with vegetables and sauce.

Crown Roast of Pork

When roasted directly on a roasting pan, the perimeter of a crown roast overcooks by the time the interior ring is done. Here’s how we solved that problem and produced evenly cooked pork.
Using kitchen twine, make two loops around the widest part of the roast and tie securely to help the crown hold its shape when flipped.
Place the pork bone side down on the V-rack and adjust the bones to steady the roast. Roast about 1 hour, until meat is 110 degrees.
Using paper towels to protect your hands, flip the hot roast bone side up and set it back on the V-rack to finish cooking in a gentle oven.

Parmesan-Crusted Asparagus 

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

Avoid pencil-thin asparagus for this recipe. Work quickly when tossing the asparagus with the egg whites, as the salt will rapidly begin to deflate the whites.


  • 2 pounds (1/2-inch-thick) asparagus, trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil spray. Using fork, poke holes up and down stalks of asparagus. Toss asparagus with ½ teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes on a paper towel–lined baking sheet.
    2. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup Parmesan, bread crumbs, butter, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cayenne in bowl. Transfer half of bread-crumb mixture to shallow dish and reserve remaining mixture. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip egg whites and honey on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape into 13 by 9-inch baking dish and toss asparagus in mixture. Working 1 spear at a time, dredge half of asparagus in bread crumbs and transfer to baking sheet. Refill shallow dish with reserved bread-crumb mixture and repeat with remaining half of asparagus.
    3. Bake asparagus until just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup Parmesan and continue to bake until cheese is melted and bread crumbs are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to platter. Serve.

Making the Coating Stick

POKE Perforating and salting the asparagus draws out excess moisture that could saturate the crumbs.
COAT Whipped egg whites help the crumbs adhere. Honey adds flavor and extra sticking power.
DREDGE Working one spear at a time keeps the bread crumbs from clumping.


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