We had some out of town relatives over for dinner, so I thought I would try something new. I know they say you shouldn’t try out new things on guests, but I was confident I could pull it off. I had a vision and I just wanted to try something new. I have never tried cooking a Crown Pork Roast before, but how hard could it be?
The menu I came up with last night was:
Crown Pork Roast with a Marsala Mushroom & Sausage Stuffing
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
So let’s start with the pork.
I ordered a Crown Pork Roast from my butcher, Kelmar Country Meats, which was tied and trimmed perfectly!
I then made a wet rub for it out of fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic, Dijon, olive oil, salt and pepper.
I applied the rub liberally to the outside of the meat. I avoided putting the rub in the whole on top because that is where I was going to put my stuffing.
This was around noon and I put the roast back in the fridge for 4 hours. I could have started it sooner, but actually after just 4 hours, it had a lot of flavour.
While the meat was getting happy in the fridge I went to work on my stuffing.
Now for the stuffing, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, use mushrooms, sausage and Marsala (since I still had some left over from Festivus) but I felt I needed some guidance to pull it all together. So I found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s website here but I changed it a bit to suit what I wanted to do. I will explain below how I made it.
I started out by making the bread crumbs. As I was doing this, I realized it was a lot of extra steps just to get bread crumbs. I bought a loaf of french bread and cubed up about 8oz of it, then sprayed it with olive oil and hit it with salt and pepper and then baked it off for about 15 minutes at 350F. Yes I had croutons, but I could have just bought some…
So the next thing her recipe says that I changed was to use 1 cup of sweet Marsala. Well I had dry Marsala… no biggie. In fact now I am glad it was dry, it would have been to sweet otherwise. I used about a cup and a half. I boiled it on the stove until I could smell the alcohol burn off, then I poured it over 1oz of dried Porcini mushrooms to let them re-hydrate in the Marsala.
I chopped up probably a little over a pound of mushrooms (maybe more) into quarters and I sauteed them on the stove with some olive oil and butter. I used 3 packs of white button mushrooms, 1 pack of Criminis and a couple of chopped up Portabellos.
I cooked the mushrooms on medium heat with a lid at first and some salt to get all the water out. When I took the lid off there was lots of liquid in the pan, but I had not added anything other than some olive oil. At this point I turned the stove up to 7 or 8 (I kinda of switched between them) and cooked off all the liquid and then added more butter and let the mushrooms really caramelize.
While the shrooms cooked down, I diced up a medium onion, I took the meat out of some Italian sausages I had bought at Kelmar as well and I chopped up 1/3 cup of dates (recipe called for prunes, I like dates better) and some fresh thyme and sage.
When the shrooms were done to my liking, I removed them from the pan and I cooked the pork sausage meat. I didn’t get any pictures of this because our company had arrived and I was busy chatting and cooking.
So I cooked the pork sausage, then took it off, then using the same pan I added the onions to cook down and soften. I then removed the now re-hydrated Porchini mushrooms from the Marsala and I chopped them up roughly and tossed them in with the rest of the shrooms in the bowl.
I strained the Marsala through a find mesh strainer and a paper towel (to remove any solid bits I didn’t want) and I poured some Marsala in the pan with the onions when they cooked down a bit to deglaze. At this point I put the sausage, shrooms, dates and herbs all back into the pan to meld together with a few more splashes of the cooked Marsala.
When it had melded together I dumped it all in a bowl and tossed in the croutons and coated them all along with the remainder of the cooked Marsala I had used to re-hydrate the mushrooms with.
I reserved 3 cups of stuffing for the Pork and put the rest in an enamel coated roaster that I greased lightly with butter and put it into the fridge until I was ready for it.
At this point I went out and lit the Egg and got it up to temp. I was looking to cook indirectly with the Plate Setter at about 375F.
While the Egg was heating up I sliced the top off of a head of garlic, drizzled it with Olive Oil and some salt and wrapped it in foil.
When the Egg was pre-heated I put the roast on along with the garlic bulb for the smashed potatoes.
When the meat thermometer hit 100F I decided to put the stuffing in the oven. I put a bit of butter on the top of it and put the lid on the roaster for the first 25 minutes and then took the lid off for the last 20.
I also put the reserved stuffing in the crown roast at this point, which was maybe a little early, but it still worked.
I then cooked up some bacon and chopped up some romaine for the salad, I washed and chopped my potatoes and I got my asparagus ready. I just used olive oil, Original Cluck & Squeal and black pepper
When the roast hit 150F I pulled it off to rest while I made the garlic smashed potatoes, grilled the asparagus, served up the stuffing and put the salad together.
When I took the pork off, I put the asparagus on, indirect heat.
For the potatoes, I squeezed the garlic out of the head and mashed it up, then added about a half a pound of butter to the potatoes along with the garlic and smashed them all together.
Crown Pork Roast before being lightly tented and rested
Stuffing from the oven that I served up
I normally like my pork a little more rare, around 145 but I did it a little longer for company. It was still quite juicy, served with some stuffing and flat leaf Italian parsley.
In the end everything came together perfectly and all at the same time. I was just on my game yesterday and everything had a good flow.
If I could change anything I would have done 2 things different though. First I would have brined the pork over night. I think that would have made it even more juicy, especially with cooking it to the higher temperature. It was good, but it would have been awesome if it was brined.
Second I think I should have made a gravy to tie to the meat, stuffing and potatoes together. They were all very tasty on their own, but a little gravy or sauce or something would have elevated this to EGGceptional proportions.
I also forgot to put the little paper hats on the pork bones. I had them, I just forgot to use them.
I thought the crown pork roast turned out awesome!!! I would absolutely do it again. It is an easy cut of meat to work with, especially if you have an awesome butcher like I do who can tie it up for you! I suck at tying knots!