Americans don’t seem to have one traditional dish that they prepare for Christmas dinner. From Goose to Prime Rib most of them are rather hard to fit into our “under five dollar per person” budget here at Five Dollar Feasts. A lot of people do another Turkey, but not everyone wants a repeat of Thanksgiving, only a month removed. If you do want to do a Turkey, though, you can try my Bourbon Brined Grilled Turkey recipe.
Last year, however, my Mom and I had an army of mouths to feed for Christmas dinner in Olympia, Washington. My Mom had already bought a Prime Rib roast, but it wasn’t going to be enough to feed everyone and she just couldn’t afford another roast that expensive. We thought about a turkey, but decided it would take up too much precious oven time that we would need for the Prime Rib.
Still, my mother, who grew up eating turkey for Christmas, was disappointed that we wouldn’t have stuffing for the holiday meal. That’s when we came up with the idea of a Crown Pork Roast. It was perfect. It was affordable, it could fit in the oven with the Prime Rib, AND you can stuff the center of it with your favorite stuffing recipe. At her local Top Foods in Washington, we had to ask the butcher to make one up for us, but in Southern California I see them ready to go at the store every holiday season.
And you know what? It was a huge hit. People enjoyed it as much or more than the Prime Rib at a fraction of the cost. (Not that I am saying there is anything wrong with Prime Rib, if you can afford it.) Plus, you get all that wonderful stuffing as a side. It’s also a great time to try out any apple or pear dressing recipes you may have, because, as I have said before, apple and pork is a match made in heaven!
The one trick: take it out when the meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees. It will cook to 165 degrees on it’s own while it rests, and you do not want to overcook pork.
So, if you don’t want to break the bank this holiday season, (and let’s face it, in this economy, who does?) go out and grab a Crown Pork Roast, stuff it, and enjoy, knowing that no one will be missing a thing this Christmas dinner.
Oh, and after you finish roasting it up, decorate it with some extra rosemary sprigs, tied to the ribs with Christmas ribbon for a festive feast!
Crown Pork Roast
1 crown pork roast, around 7 pounds (you usually order this by the amount of ribs. 16 is pretty standard)
2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary (plus extra sprigs for garnish) (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 Tablesoons fresh sage, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
Salt and Pepper to taste
¼ olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt and pepper together. Rub the meat of the roast with this wet rub. (By “meat” I mean that there is no need to rub the ribs as well.)
- Fill the center of the roast with you favorite stuffing or dressing. (Or you can use the recipe below)
- Roast for 20 to 25 minutes per pound (normally about 2 to 3 hours) until a meat thermometer reads 155 degrees in the thickest part of the meat. Do not hit the bone when testing the temperature.
- Let sit for 20 minutes before carving.
Dressing (or Stuffing)
4 cups of stale bread, cubed into 1/2″ thick pieces
1/2 cup butter
6 to 7 celery stalks, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
12 to 16 button mushrooms, chopped
approximately 1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried majoram (or thyme)
3 to 4 apples or pears, chopped (optional)
1 cup crushed walnuts or sliced almonds (optional)
- Sautee the celery and onion in the butter over medium heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic and optional apples or pears and brown for about another 5 minutes.
- Combine the sauteed vegetable mixture with the bread, and optional nuts and chicken broth. Mix well. The dressing should be moist from the butter and broth, but not gummy. Add more chicken broth if needed. Stuff into your bird or roast before baking. Bake any additional dressing at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.