Crown Roast of Pork – Revisited

[I originally posted this Crown Roast of Pork nearly a year ago, but finally have a picture to add and some additional tips and details. It is such a fantastic and impactful addition to your holiday table, it seemed that it warrants this revisit as we prepare for the holiday season!]

It’s always a good thing to have that recipe in your back pocket – you know the one – the one that you’ve made so many times that you could do it in your sleep and the one that everyone raves about each time you serve it. In our house, that go-to recipe elicits cheers from Emma. Probably appeals to the princess in her. It’s a crown roast of pork.

Crown Roast of Pork

This is an extravagant roast. We don’t have this often although the first few years when it was still a novelty to us, we did. Now it is the centrepiece to our annual Christmas Eve celebration.

A crown roast is actually a rack of pork that has the tip end of the bones cleared of meat (known as frenched), and then tied into a circle with the cleared part of the bones pointing upward forming what looks like a crown. Although your butcher can tie the roast for you, it’s actually not that difficult to do yourself (as I learned just this past week!). Just grab a couple of pieces of butcher twine and off you go!

Some important things to note about preparing a crown roast of pork:

  • this is a big roast. The smallest crown roasts that I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been making them is about 10 bones. And, it’s not something your butcher will necessarily have in stock on a whim. Call ahead and they’ll prep it for you.
  • you can get them hollowed in the centre (so they can be stuffed) or not. I always get mine not hollow and make my stuffing separately.
  • the butcher will tell you that you can count on two bones per person. Unless you have really voracious guests, chances are the majority will manage one only.

You will look like a superstar when this roast makes it to your table. No one will believe how easy it was – and why tell them. Let them ooh and aah while you all enjoy your holiday celebration.

Crown Roast of Pork

(serves 12)

  • 10-15 bay leaves
  • 1 (12-14 bone) crown roast of pork
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a few good pinches of kosher salt
  • a couple of tablespoons each of (dried) – or the equivalent in fresh herbs:
    • thyme
    • paprika
    • marjoram
    • savory
    • sage

Place the bay leaves on a rack in roasting pan and place roast, tips facing up, on top of the bay leaves. Rub the salt all over the roast. Combine the oil, garlic and herbs together to create a thick paste. Rub the herb mixture all over the roast remembering to do the centre as well. Set aside for at least 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Remember to bring the roast to room temperature before baking.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Cover the tips of the bones with foil so they don’t burn.

Roast uncovered for 15-20 min. Then reduce the temperature to 375F, loosely cover the roast with foil and pop it back into the oven until the roast is ready. The rule of thumb I work by is 25 min @ 400F per 500g (~1 pound) of roast or when thermometer reads between 150-160F.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Remove the twine before slicing into chops.


  1. Carol

    We made a rack if pork similar to this with the fat pad still on. One of our best meals ever. Where do you source your meat? I’ve been trying to find a pastured rack recently with no luck.


    • Hi Carol – we used to have a wonderful butcher we dealt with out in Waterloo. Since we’ve been back in town though, we’ve been using our local grocery store butcher, occasionally branching out to Cumbrae’s time and again for special occasion items.

  2. Pingback: Finally – the 12th Day of Christmas | Pudbudder – It's all about fun!

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