If you have only one knife in your kitchen, make it a chef's knife. This multipurpose tool can slice and dice anything and is also great for carving meat. Look for one with a comfortable handle and a wide, slightly curved blade that's long enough without being too unwieldy.
MUST-HAVE KITCHEN TOOL
Crown Roast of Pork
(Makes 10 to 12 servings)
Crown Roast of Pork
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 crown roast of pork, 14 to 16 ribs, about 7 pounds
Salt and pepper
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium onion, cut into quarters, plus 1 cup minced onion
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons minded fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 cups water, chicken broth, or white wine
8 ounces butter
4 cups plain bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a small bowl, cover the apricots with hot water and set aside.
Season the roast with salt and pepper and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.
In a bowl, toss the carrot, celery, and quartered onion with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter the vegetable mixture around the roast in the pan.
Mix the remaining olive oil with half the garlic and tarragon. Rub the mixture all over the roast. Place the meat in the oven and roast for 20 minutes.
Turn the heat down to 325 degrees F. Moisten the vegetables with 1/2 cup of the liquid (water, broth, or wine) every 15 minutes.
In a deep skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the 1 cup of minced onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and chop the apricots and add them to the onions. Add the bread crumbs, remaining garlic and tarragon, and salt and pepper. Toss well to combine the mixture. Put the stuffing in an 8-inch square baking dish and place in the oven with the roast. Cook the stuffing until it is crisp on top and then stir it up. Stir the stuffing several times while you finish cooking the meat.
Cooking time for the roast will be about 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 150 degrees F. When it’s done, remove it to a cutting board and cover with foil to keep warm. Remove the stuffing. If it looks dry, baste it with juices from the roasting pan. Cover with foil.
To make the sauce:
Pour off the fat from the roasting pan without losing the darker juices.
Place the pan on the stove over medium-high heat.
Add the remaining liquid (water, broth, or wine) to the roasting pan.
Stir and scrape up the bits on the bottom and cook until reduced by half.
Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and press them into a strainer over a small bowl. Add this liquid to the sauce.
Pile the stuffing into the center of the roast and bring the roast to the table whole. Carve it, serve with a little stuffing, and spoon some sauce over each serving.
One of the most stunning presentations at any holiday meal is a crown roast of pork.
The roast is formed by tying the rib section into a circle. The ends of the ribs are "frenched" which means that the meat has been scraped off the tips of the bones. But all of this work is done by your butcher. You simply have to make the stuffing and roast the meat. A crown roast of pork is very impressive to serve but be advised that it can be expensive.
In this recipe the stuffing is baked in a dish and piled into the center of the meat before serving.
This method allows the stuffing to crisp and reduces the amount of fat it absorbs.
You can roast it with the stuffing in the center of the meat if you prefer.
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