Pork Crown Roast with Drunken Apples
This spectacular pork crown roast will be the ‘crowning glory’ of a beautiful meal.
I could make a terrible pun about “crowns” and “royalty”, but instead let’s just all agree that a pork crown roast is a show-stopping meat centrepiece – something you can be very proud to present to your table. A roast of this magnitude is perfectly suited to a meal with family or friends, especially during a holiday like Easter.
Although it may look like a brand new cut you’ve never tried, a crown roast is actually just a really visually impressive version of yet-to-be-cut pork chops! The whole loin rolled into a circle, with a small cut between each chop, and the bones are frenched (stripped of fat and meat) which creates the magnificent structure.
The other good news is, it’s super easy to cook. Much as you’d do with a prime rib, use a reverse sear concept to first roast for a few hours over a low heat, before resting then searing at a very high temperature. As with any temperature-sensitive method, the most important instrument you’ll need, aside from an oven of course, is a reliably calibrated thermometer. I use and recommend the Thermapen, which also displays the temperature reading nearly instantly, so I dont lose too much heat from the oven door staying open.
I prefer just salt, pepper and garlic because it’s a great opportunity to let the meat shine, particularly if using a breed of exceptional quality like Kurobuta or Berkshire, but you can go ahead and experiment with your favorite rubs and herbs.
Since I decided to keep the flavor profile simple, I was musing over a sauce I could serve with the roast that would be complimentary and not just another boring apple sauce. Quite hilariously, I ended up finding the perfect accompaniment in a traditional Passover dish called Charoset; grated apples with walnuts and wine. So, this final dish is kind of an Easter/Passover mashup. Feeling slightly guilty taking a traditional kosher recipe and pairing it with pork, I’ve renamed it ‘drunken apples’ (but kept the Manischewitz!).
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Pork Crown Roast with Drunken Apples
The roast should come trussed (tied with string to keep it in place) from your butcher or meat purveyor.
Make sure you start your drunken apples while the roast is cooking to let the flavors chill and mingle for at least an hour.
- 1 x 6lb pork crown roast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 Granny Smith apples
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups Manischewitz wine
Preheat oven to 250f
Pat outside of pork roast dry with paper towels, and place on a rack in baking tray.
Combine salt, pepper and garlic in a bowl, then sprinkle liberally over entire roast. Drizzle olive oil over the top.
Place roast in oven and cook until the centre reaches an internal temp of 145f. Note - the more tightly your roast is strung, the harder it may be to get completely even cooking. Ideally, there will be a small gap in the middle to allow air to move through. This cooking should take roughly 2hrs 15 min.
Remove roast from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Turn oven to 475, and finish roast after resting for 10-15 minutes to create color on the outside.
Remove from oven, cut and remove string then slice between the bones into chops to serve (you may want to do this tableside for maximum impact!).
For the Drunken Apples: grate the Granny Smith apples with a large grater into a bowl. Squeeze the grated apples an pour out excess juice. Add the walnuts, cinnamon and wine, then stir to combine. Place in fridge for at least 1hr before serving to allow flavors to mingle and apple to soak up the wine. Serve with pork.
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Kinda sweet, a little savory and sorta spicy, pepper jelly is a great all round condiment to keep in the fridge.