Merry Christmas y’all! I hope that all of you that celebrate the holiday had a lovely and festive time with your family and friends! We had a fabulous time celebrating with my family in Atlanta and look forward to making a trip to visit the rest of Riche’s family in the next few weeks to have a belated holiday celebration.
As we were getting ready for Christmas, of course the topic of what to eat came up! We had a fantastic lasagna on Christmas Eve (which I will post tomorr0w) but wanted something special on Christmas Day. A Christmas Day tradition in my family in past years has been a Crown Roast of Pork, so I thought I would give it a try. Am I glad I did…it was DELICIOUS! I paired it with steamed brussel sprouts and an amazing Chestnut, Cranberry and Pear Stuffing. A word of note (or warning…), this recipe is step and labor intensive but worth absolutely every step! It is also not the most Weight Watchers friendly recipe but worth every extra point!!! Enjoy! Merry Christmas!!!!
Crown Roast of Pork with Chestnut, Cranberry and Pear Stuffing
4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh rosemary, picked and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh sage, picked and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 13-rib pork loin, membrane between the rib bones slit to allow the pork to curl around and stand up
Pear and Chestnut Stuffing, recipe follows
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 Spanish onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch dice
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups dry white wine
2 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
For the pork: In a small bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, sage and crushed red pepper with 1/2 cup olive oil. Sprinkle the pork generously with salt and brush both sides with the olive oil herb paste.
When the pork is cooked to the proper doneness – an instant-read thermometer should read 140 to 145 degrees F – remove it from the oven. Carefully transfer the pork to a serving platter and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the pork rest for 20 to 25 minutes.
Chestnut and Pear Stuffing:
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Spanish onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 sprigs rosemary, picked and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
8 ounces peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
4 Anjou pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups dry white wine
12 cups cubed crustless, stale sourdough or peasant bread
4 cups chicken stock, warmed
Coat a wide, straight-sided pan with olive oil and add the bacon. Bring the pan to a medium heat and let the bacon get brown and crispy.
Add the celery, onions and fennel and season with salt. Cook the veggies until they get soft and very aromatic, 8 to10 minutes. Add the rosemary and garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more.
Toss in the chestnuts, cranberries and pears, and stir to combine. Add the wine and let it reduce by half.
Put the bread in a large mixing bowl and add the cooked veggie mixture to the bread. Stir to combine and douse the bread with half the stock. Use your hands to combine the bread, veggies and stock. Add more stock when/if needed to really saturate the bread. Season with salt and taste it to make sure it is delicious.