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Crown Roast of Pork

January 10, 2006

Serves 10

A crown roast of anything is spectacular. Cooked in the oven or on a grill and served at room temperature or cold, it's a knockout party dish. A good meat thermometer, preferably the instant-reading kind, is a must for pork.

1 crown roast of pork, made from the ribs of two pork rib roasts and tied into a crown roast
freshly ground pepper
2-4 garlic cloves
rosemary (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Salt and pepper the meat, insert slivers of garlic, and rub with rosemary.

Cover the bone ends of the crown roast with foil and place a wad of aluminum in the center of the roast to help keep its shape. Place in a shallow pan, not on a rack, and roast about 20 minutes to the pound or until the internal temperature is 150-160 degrees. To cook outdoors place on a prepared grill and cook, covered, until the internal temperature is 150-160 degrees. Let rest ten minutes.

Scraping the bottom of the pan to get flavor and color into the juices, strain the juices into a cup for easier removal of fat. Remove the fat with a spoon. Return the juices to the pan and bring to the boil and boil until thickened slightly.

When ready to serve, move to a platter or round plate, fill the center of the roast with desired vegetables or garnish with rosemary. Serve the sauce separately.

To prepare a crown roast:

Have the butcher remove the chine bone (the backbone) of two similar-sized center-cut rib roasts of five or six ribs each. If desired, have the butcher cut between each rib to facilitate easier carving.

Join the two pieces of meat, end to end, and turn the meat into a circle, so the rib ends face outward, in a crown. Where the ends meet, make little holes in the meat, insert and tie securely with butcher's twine. Wrap the crown on the outside with the butcher’s twine, to hold the rib roasts while roasting. “French” (scrape) the bones on the remaining rib section by cutting out a 2-inch web between each rib down to the fleshly part of the meat and scraping the bones, starting at the end of the rib furthest away from the backbone. Place a ball of aluminum foil in the center of the roast to help keep its shape.

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