Herbed Crown Roast of PorkHerbed Crown Roast of Pork
(This recipe is part of  “Home for the Holidays Experience”)

Apartment Living

After 23 years of marriage and three grown children, it was quite the transition going from a 2,500 square foot home to a small apartment. My husband and I made this move after we became empty nesters, sold a houseful of furniture then ventured into a new business together. Apartment living was nice and convenient for a time but within the past year, it has started to close in on us. Included in our household is a sweet and compliant golden doodle named Sammy. But then we added a 2nd golden doodle, Charlie Brown, an energetic puppy, which has made our life quite insane (in a good way).

Goldendoodles
I Miss Entertaining on a Larger Scale

What I have missed the most is the ability to entertain on a larger scale. One of my favorite things in life is being surrounded by friends and family, feasting around either the backyard grill or the dining room table, and enjoying relationships mingled with laughter and love.

This is why I have been itching (quite desperately) to get out of this apartment and into our own place again. In the meantime, I cannot put relationships on hold because of my cramped space. I’ve had an issue with myself over the years – I’ve wanted everything perfect before I could do it. That’s kinda gone out the window this past couple of years.

Herbed Crown Roast of Pork

Thanksgiving in a Small Apartment

This Thanksgiving all of our children are going to be home, here together in this little apartment. They’ve been scattered throughout the world for several years now and have not all been together in one place for quite some time. I hope they think being here is as cozy as my insides feel right now. My mother’s heart is happy and over-joyed at the thought of listening to their stories and hearing their laughter fill this space.

And of course, there is nothing that makes me happier than making sure they are stuffed every minute while here. I inherited that somehow from both my side and my husband’s side of the family. Our mothers would not be finished with a meal before talking about what they were going to prepare for the next one. It’s lunacy but I have followed in their footsteps. It makes me feel like I have done my job as a Mother when my children leave my house totally and completely satisfied by the food that we have shared together.

Herbed Crown Roast of Pork

Herbed Crown Roast of Pork

I’m so excited about this year’s Thanksgiving menu. I’ve decided to go the non-traditional route. Instead of a glistening, golden-stuffed turkey as the centerpiece of my table, I have chosen an Herbed Crown Roast of Pork. This is a beauty if I’ve ever seen one. The presentation is over the top impressive. If you were to make it yourself, your guests will still be talking about it next year.

Home for the Holidays Experience

The Secret to Juiciness is Brining for 24 Hours

Not only is it gorgeous, it tastes superb! I made a brine for this Herbed Crown Roast of Pork of water, sugar, lots of herbs, onions, garlic then let is set for 24 hours. This is the secret to its juiciness. Then I coated the inside and out with more herbs and roasted it on a low oven temperature of 250° F. The key to pork roast: don’t cook it too fast and don’t use high heat. A misconception about pork is you should not see any pink in the center. That’s just not true. What you are looking for is an internal temperature of 140° F with an instant-read thermometer. Pull it out of the oven and let it rest under a tent of foil for 30 or 40 minutes. Perfection!

THANKSGIVING – it’s about feasting, family, and thankfulness. I pray yours abounds with all of these!

Home for the Holidays

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Crown Roast of Pork
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Herbed Crown Roast of Pork

This is a gorgeous alternative to your traditional Thanksgiving turkey. It’s the perfect centerpiece for your table and is juicy and delicious. Truly impressive.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings of Roast and Stuffing

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1 gallon Water
  • 1 1/2 cups Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 10 large Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 2 large Sweet Onions, chopped
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • Handful each of Fresh Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, coarsely chopped

Crown Roast of Pork

  • 10 lb Crown Roast of Pork (ordered from the butcher)
  • 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons each of Fresh Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, chopped

Apple Sausage Stuffing

  • 1 (1 lb) Loaf of Ciabatta Bread (day old), cubed
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 lbs Mild Italian Sausage, bulk
  • 1 1/2 large Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 4 large Celery Ribs, chopped
  • 2 large Honey Crisp Apples, cored and chopped
  • 6 large Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons each Fresh Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, chopped
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten

Instructions

  • Combine water, salt, sugar, onions, garlic, bay leaves and herbs in an extra large container to submerge the crown roast. Place in refrigerator and let sit for 24 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Generously butter 2 cookie sheets for the bread cubes. Place the cubes in a single layer on the cookie sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread has dried out. Remove and let cool. This can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  • For Stuffing: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the Italian sausage. Cook until done and remove sausage with a slotted spoon. Set aside. Add the onion and celery to the sausage grease and sauté for about 7 minutes. Add apples and cook for another 7-10 minutes until everything is softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the stove and combine bread cubes, sautéed ingredients, parmesan cheese, herbs, salt and pepper, chicken stock and eggs in a large bowl. The stuffing should be moist but not soggy, therefore start with 1 cup of chicken stock and continue until desired consistency. Stir until completely mixed together. Set aside. There is more than enough stuffing to fill the cavity with plenty of leftovers to serve alongside the roast. See baking instructions below.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 250° F. Remove the roast from the brine and dry with paper towels. Rub the olive oil both inside and out along with the salt/pepper and herbs.
  • Fill the cavity of the roast with stuffing. Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan in the bottom third of your oven.  Cook for 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 140° F with an instant-read thermometer. After 30 minutes cover the stuffing with foil. If the bones begin to brown too much, cover the top of them with small squares of foil.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and tent with foil. Let sit for 30-40 minutes.
  • For baking the stuffing, generously butter a large baking dish. Add stuffing to the dish. Cover with foil and bake in a 350° F oven for approximately 30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. This can be done while the roast is resting.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 500° F. Once the roast has rested, remove the foil from the roast and place back in the oven. Cook for an additional 10 minutes to get nicely browned and crisp.  Remove and let sit another 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 1226
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 2263 mg
  • Fat: 71 g
  • Saturated Fat: 22 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 115 g
  • Cholesterol: 325 mg