Pork Crown Roast with Apples and ShallotsCourse: Dinner, HolidayCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Intermediate
I love this festive recipe. There is a lot of prep and it need to marinate at least 24 hours. It in one that I have made countless times and it is always a hit. It is a perfect holiday masterpiece and the leftovers are great as well. Don’t be scared off by this serving 12. If you have a small gathering, you can always half the recipe. It won’t be a full crown of coarse but it will still taste marvelous. Another tip with this recipe is to transfer the bacon, apples and shallots to their own pan as they get rather mushy if made in the same pan with the meat.I pour some of the cider into the dish with the apples.
2 8-bone racks of pork (about 4lbs each), chine bone removed, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick, rib bones frenched
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
10oz Kosher Salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
12 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, plus 8 sprigs
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 oz bacon, chopped
12 lady apples or 6-8 mix of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp
1 1/2 lb shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise if large
3 cups dry hard cider
- Lay racks of pork flat on a cutting board, meaty side down, the inside of the ribs should be facing up. Using a sharp knife make 3 long slits about 1 inch deep into the loins of each rack, 1 slit between every 2 ribs. Place each rack of pork into a 1 gallon ziplock bag and chill.
- In a large pot, heat brown sugar, salt and 4 cups water over medium heat, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved about 15 minutes. Remove from heat (there still may be signs of the salt and sugar) add the vinegar and 4 cups ice water. Chill bring until very cold about 1 hour.
- Divide the brine between bags and seal, squeezing out as much air. Chill pork 8-24 hours.
- Remove from bags and pat dry. Place on large baking tray and let sit for 2 hours to bring to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 300. Mix garlic, chopped thyme, mustard seeds, pepper, 1/4 cup mustard and 2 Tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Smear all over the pork, working into slits. Stick thyme sprigs and extra garlic cloves in each slit. Upend the racks so they are parallel to one another with bones facing up and slits facing out. ***This will take another pair of hands to help. Curve racks toward each other so they meet at both ends to form a crown. Holding the crown together, encircle the crown with kitchen twine and tie securely in 2 places, around rib bones and around thickest part of the loin. If desired, wrap tops of bones individually with foil to keep from burning.
- Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon, stirring often so not to burn. Let the fat render and the bacon crisp about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to a greased roasting dish. Working in batches cook the apples and shallots in the bacon fat over medium high heat. Cook undisturbed, cut side down, about 5 minutes. Transfer apples to roasting dish with bacon. Let shallots cook about 3 more minutes.
- Remove skillet from heat and carefully add the cider, stirring and scraping up the bits in the pan. Pour liquid over the apples and shallots and reserve some for the roasting pan for the pork. Reserve the skillet. Roast the pork until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loin registers 135. about 1 3/4 – 21/4 hours. Cook the apples and shallots in the same oven. Check on them as they might need to be covered with foil.
- Remove pork and apples from oven. Cover the apples and shallots with foil to keep warm. Increase oven temperature to 500. Transfer pork to a cutting board and pour juices to reserved skillet. Return pork to roasting pan and roast until browned and crisp all over about 5-10 minutes. Transfer roast back to cutting board and tent for 30 minutes and then cut into chops.
- Just before serving, whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of mustard into pan juices and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, whisking often, until sauce is reduced to about 1 cup, 7 to 10 minutes.
- Transfer pork chops to platter with apples, shallots and sprigs of thyme. Drizzle the sauce over and present for a festive meal. I served this with Wild Rice that has dried cranberries and apricots, chopped leeks and toasted pine nuts. Green beans steamed with sauted mushrooms goes nicely.