Smoked Pork Crown Roast, The Reigning King Of Your Holiday Meal

Crown your dinner table with the king of all roasts!

Looking to wow your guests this holiday season? You've found the perfect recipe.

Cut from a 10 or 12 bone rack of pork that is trimmed (Frenched) to expose the ends of the bones, the crown roast is the ultimate edible centerpiece for your meal. It is also perfect for filling with a flavorful stuffing.

To save time, this recipe starts with boxed cornbread stuffing mix, but you could easily substitute your favorite homemade stuffing such as our Stuffin’ Muffins recipe here. Either way, the stuffing is amped up with sausage, cherries, apples, and pecans to fill the crown roast until it is nearly overflowing. The stuffing helps keep the pork roast extra moist during the smoking process, and it makes a fantastic side dish.

As an alternative preparation method you can cook the stuffing separately according to instructions then add the stuffing to the center of the crown roast just prior to serving! This will ensure even cooking of both the roast and the stuffing. Finish it off with a delicious maple glaze and you’ve got an all star main course.

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Hosting a large dinner party or holiday dinner? Few dishes bring the “wow” factor like a perfectly smoked and stuffed pork crown roast. Here’s the recipe for getting it done!

Course.  Dinner. Entree.

Cuisine. American.

Makes. 10 to 12 servings (approximately 1 bone per person)

Takes. 15 minutes prep, approximately 2 1/2 hours total cook time including stuffing and roast.

Serve with. Pinot Noir.

Additional tools. Pizza pan or roasting pan.

Ingredients

The stuffing

1 6-ounce box stuffing mix such as Kraft Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing Mix

1/2 pound loose breakfast sausage

1 large apple

1/4 cup dried cherries

1/4 cup pecan pieces

The roast

1 pork crown roast, approximately 5 pounds, such as this Kurobuta pork crown roast from Snake River Farms

1/2 teaspoon Morton’s coarse kosher salt per pound of meat (learn more about the science of salt here)

1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper per pound of meat

The glaze

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Method

1) Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 325°F on the indirect side. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 325°F on the indirect side.

2) Prep. Prepare the stuffing mix according to the package instructions.

3) Place a skillet on the hot side of the grill. Add the sausage to the skillet and cook until brown and cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Remove the sausage from the grill, drain the fat, and set aside.

4) Core and peel the apple then roughly chop.

5) Roughly chop the dried cherries and finely chop the pecans. Mix the chopped cherries, peans and apples and the sausage into the stuffing.

6) Place the roast on a pizza pan or in a roasting pan (this will help contain the stuffing as well as make it easier to move the roast to and from the grill). Season the pork crown roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper (for a 5-pound roast, use about 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Add as much stuffing as possible to the center of the crown roast, mounding the top. The remaining stuffing can be cooked in a separate baking dish according to the package directions. Note: As an alternative preparation method, you can cook the roast and the stuffing separately then add the stuffing to the center of the roast just prior to serving. If you are cooking the roast without the stuffing be aware that the overall cooking time will be slightly shorter.

7) Add 2-3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for additional smoke flavor. If you’re using a gas grill, fill a smoking box or a smoking pouch with wood chips and add to the grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

8) Cook. Place the roast on the cool side of the grill, positioning it as far from direct heat as possible. Cover the grill and allow the roast to cook until the top of the stuffing is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Cover the stuffing with aluminum foil, cover the grill, and allow the roast to continue to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F, approximately 1 1/2 hours (note: a good remote thermometer such as the Thermoworks Smoke is a great way to monitor the meat’s internal temperature while attending to other matters).

9) As the roast cooks, whisk together the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Once the roast reaches an internal temperature of 130°F, baste the outside of the roast with the maple-balsamic glaze then cover the grill and repeat the glazing every 5 minutes until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.

10) Serve. Remove the roast from the grill. Gently work a spatula under the roast and move it to a serving platter. Present the stuffed crown roast to your guests before slicing and serving.

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Full disclosure: The roast was provided at no cost by Snake River Farms for recipe testing purposes. No additional compensation was received. 

Clint Cantwell

Clint Cantwell is AmazingRibs.com's Senior Vice President, charged with creating recipes, writing articles, shooting photos, and a little bit of everything else. Cantwell was was named one of the "10 Faces of Memphis Barbecue" by Memphis Magazine and was the winner of Travel Channel's "American Grilled: Memphis".

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