A crown roast is given its name because when properly prepared it resembles a crown. A crown roast is made from 2 sections of pork, lamb or veal loin with the ribs still attached. Even though March 7 is National Crown Roast of Pork day in the U.S.A., you can enjoy it any time of the year. Here’s how to prepare a crown roast if you want to try it on your own.
- Purchase the meat
A crown roast can be made from pork, lamb or veal. Beef loin is too large to properly form into a crown roast. You need to purchase the loin with the ribs still intact. In order to properly tie the crown you’ll need to purchase 2 strips of the bone-in loin. Each strip should have at least 4 bones for it to form the crown properly.
- Trim the meat
Lay the strip of loin horizontally on a cutting board in front of you. With a sharp knife, carefully make a cut from one end of the loin to the other, perpendicular to the bones, about 1 1/2 inches (3.5 cm) from the top of the bone.
Lay the second strip of loin on the cutting board and make a similar cut.
Remove the meat from between the cut you just made and the top of the bone. Use a small knife to carefully cut away this meat; you can save it for another use. Cut away enough meat to expose the bones. Do this for both strips of loin.
- French the bones
Frenching is the process of removing the meat from between each bone. Using a thin bladed knife or boning knife cut away the meat from between each bone. Cut away enough meat so that 1 1/2 inches (3.5 cm) of bone is exposed. Clean away any fat and meat from each bone until they’re as close to bare bone as you can manage.
- Cut the meat
Lay the strips of loin on the cutting board horizontally in front of you, bone side up and with the bones facing away from you. With a small knife, make a shallow incision through the meat halfway between each bone. Your cuts should extend from the bottom of the meat up between each bone to the top of the meat.
- Tie the roast
Stand the strips up with the bones facing upward and the meatiest portion of the meat facing inward. Shape the 2 strips into a circle. With a long length of string, tie the meat together in a circle. One string should tie the roast across midway up the outward facing bones, and another string should tie below the bones in the meaty portion of the strips.
- Liberally season the roast with salt and pepper.
- Roast the meat
Roast the crown roast in a 350 degree F (180 degree C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes per lb. or until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) in the meatiest portion.
- Make the stuffing
Crown roasts have traditionally been stuffed prior to roasting. It is, however, easier to make the stuffing and bake it separately then spoon the stuffing into the center of the cooked crown. If the roast were stuffed and then roasted, you would have to cook the roast to a much higher internal temperature to ensure that the stuffing is cooked. This would result in overcooked meat.
- Serve the roast
Remove the string from the roast and place the cooked roast on a serving platter. Spoon the cooked stuffing into the center of the roast and serve.