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Good morning, GUSribberoonies!  I know I'm early but I believe in planning ahead.  Three Kings day isn't until January 6th (take down those damned decorations).  But hey -- we are all inclusive here -- so all beliefs/non-beliefs have to eat with planning.   I think winter is the best time to have friends and/or family over because cooking keeps the house warm and fragrant.  Of course, those of you who are one of our southern/California clime folks -- you just need to have family and friends for dinner to keep you off the devil weed.

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Have your butcher -- either local or at the grocery store do the work for you.  My local butcher is a genius.  With the crown roast of pork, he packs the center with the trimmings -- ground -- of pork.  I use them with wild rice and herbs for my stuffing.  You can also save and use with ground chuck for hamburgers or meat loaf.

If you want to know why an experienced butcher should do the work for you, watch the following How to form a crown roast of pork video.  No way I would do all the work involved.  It is best to order the roasts ahead of time.

Crown Roast of Pork
Serves:
    8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

Pork:

    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  [this part will already be done by the butcher].
    Kosher salt
    Pear and Chestnut Stuffing, recipe follows

Pan Sauce:

    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
    Kosher salt

Directions

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.

Stand the pork rack up and curl it around so that the two ends meet; be sure that the thick meaty part of the pork is on the inside. Secure the roast by tying it twice around the outside of the roast with twine.

Place the pork in a large roasting pan fitted with a pizza pan tray [I used a wire cookie cooling rack; it fit more easily and allowed juices to drop into the pan] and stuff the center of the pork with the Pear and Chestnut Stuffing. (There will be leftover stuffing. Place the leftover stuffing in a baking dish and cook for 35 minutes at 350 degrees F.)

For the pan sauce: Place the garlic and diced veggies around the pork. Add half the chicken stock, the wine and bay leaves to the pan. Sprinkle everything with salt.

Cover the pork bones with aluminum foil to prevent the bones from burning. Place the pork in the oven. Roast until the pork is starting to brown, about 30 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.

Roast the pork for 2 1/2 more hours, basting the pork occasionally. Rotate the pork a couple of times during the cooking time. If the liquid level reduces, replace it with the remaining stock.

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.

Bring the pan juices to a boil. Taste and re-season if needed. Blend the veggies if desired to create a smoother sauce. I also like to leave them in.

To serve: Remove the twine. Scoop out the stuffing and cut the pork in between the bones to create chops. Top with pan sauce.
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
    Kosher salt
    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.

I don't eat lamb so I had to consult my lamb experts.  All thought the following is a great recipe.  You can use any veggies you prefer.  Remember.  Frozen veggies are a great substitute for fresh
Crown Roast of Lamb with Shallots, Mustard and Mint Bon Appétit

Yield: Serves 6
ingredients
For lamb:
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 crown of lamb made from two 8-rib racks (about 4 1/2 pounds total)

1 cup dry white wine
2 large shallots, chopped
1/4 cup chicken stock or canned unsalted broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

For Spring Vegetables with Mint:
1 1/2 pounds new potatoes, halved
1 baby carrot bunch, stems trimmed to 1 inch, peeled
1 10-ounce basket pearl onions, peeled
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into thirds

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
preparation
To make lamb:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary in bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place lamb in roasting pan. Rub all over with butter mixture. Roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. and continue roasting until thermometer inserted into lamb registers 140°F. for medium-rare, about 40 minutes. Transfer lamb to platter; let stand 15 minutes.

Pour off fat from roasting pan and set pan aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over low heat. Add shallots and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary; sauté until shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Add wine to roasting pan and bring to boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits. Add wine to skillet. Add stock; boil until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon mustard and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon vegetables in center of and around roast. Serve, cutting lamb into chops and spooning sauce over.

To make spring vegetables:

Place potatoes in vegetable steamer and steam 10 minutes. Add carrots and onions and steam until vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add asparagus and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes more.

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add mint and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and stir until vegetables are coated with butter

Stuffed Crown Roast of Beef
PREP TIME: 3 Hours
SERVES: 6

COMMENT:
Although this roast is mostly seen on holiday tables, it is excellent year-round either spit-roasted on a barbecue pit or roasted slow and low in the oven. I prefer bone-in for extraordinary flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

    1 (5-7 pound) bone-in beef rib roast
    6 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 cups green onions, sliced
    1/8 tsp dried thyme
    1/8 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp salt
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    1/4 cup cayenne and jalapeno peppers, sliced
    6-8 sprigs of rosemary
    1/4 cup oil
    2 cups onions, diced
    1/4 cup celery, diced
    1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
    2 carrots, diced
    1/4 cup parsley
    Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce  

METHOD:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl combine garlic, green onions, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Pierce holes through the roast and fill each cavity with mixture. Follow with the peppers and rosemary, leaving approximately 1-inch of the rosemary exposed. (This will give flavor to the roast.) Season the roast completely with salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. In a 12-quart cast iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear roast in hot oil on both sides. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, carrots and parsley. Bake uncovered until tender, 25 minutes per pound for rare to medium-rare. Allow roast to rest 30 minutes prior to slicing

OR
Mustard-Seed-Crusted Prime Rib Roast with Roasted Balsamic Onions Bon Appétit

For some, Christmas dinner wouldn't be complete without beef. Here, a decadent prime rib roast is coated in mustard seeds and served with a tangy mustard sauce and sweet-sour onions. Serve with steamed baby carrots.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours
ingredients
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup prepared white horseradish
1 cup plus 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, divided
4 medium onions, cut into 3/4-inch wedges with some core attached
5 very large shallots (about 1 pound), quartered through root end
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus additional (for sprinkling)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 9 1/2-pound bone-in standing prime rib roast, trimmed
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups low-salt beef broth
Chopped fresh italian parsley
preparation

Using electric mixer, beat crème fraîche and cream in medium bowl to firm peaks. Fold in horseradish and 1/3 cup mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled. Rewhisk before serving.

Preheat oven to 450°f. Toss onions, shallots, vinegar, oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt in large bowl. Sprinkle roast lightly with coarse salt and generously with pepper. Stir 2/3 cup mustard and garlic in small bowl; rub over roast. Place roast, bone side down, in roasting pan. Sprinkle mustard seeds over, pressing to adhere. Roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

Arrange onion mixture around roast. Return to oven; roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 120°F, stirring onion mixture occasionally, about 2 1/4 hours for medium-rare.

Transfer roast to work surface. Tent with foil; let rest 30 minutes. If necessary, increase oven temperature to 450°F and return onion mixture to roasting pan and roast until deep brown and very tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture to medium bowl.

Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium-high heat. Add brandy; stir 30 seconds. Whisk in broth and remaining 1 teaspoon mustard; boil until reduced to 1 1/4 cups jus, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season jus with salt and pepper.

Slice roast; arrange on platter. Spoon onions around roast. Sprinkle parsley over. Pass dijon crème fraîche and jus alongside.

METHOD:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. In a small mixing bowl combine garlic, green onions, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Pierce holes through the roast and fill each cavity with mixture. Follow with the peppers and rosemary, leaving approximately 1-inch of the rosemary exposed. (This will give flavor to the roast.) Season the roast completely with salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. In a 12-quart cast iron Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sear roast in hot oil on both sides. Add onions, celery, bell pepper, carrots and parsley. Bake uncovered until tender, 25 minutes per pound for rare to medium-rare. Allow roast to rest 30 minutes prior to slicing.

And of course, what's a crown roast without those little paper frills?  The video is short and quite easy to follow.
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