We let our magnificent Crown Roast rest, loosely covered with foil, for about a half hour while we put the finishing touches on the other dishes for Easter Dinner at Goomp's.
Crown Roast of Pork -- 8 pounds with about 12 ribs -- is easy as pie. Brush with oil and rub with mixture of salt, pepper, sugar, thyme and sage. Mound stuffing (see below) in center, cover rib tips with foil and bake in roasting pan at 450o for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325o and continue roasting till thermometer inserted in center registers 150o, about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking till thermometer registers 155o, about 15 minutes. Let roast rest, loosely covered with foil, before cutting between ribs.
Giant faux foil-wrapped chocolate bunny with colored eggs and Peter Rabbit himself graced the Easter table at Goomp's.
Apple and Sausage Stuffing can be made a day ahead and stored in refrigerator. Saute 6 cloves garlic, chopped, and two apples, pared and coarsely chopped, in 1/2 stick butter in a large heavy pan at medium heat. Add three sweet sausages, breaking them up as you cook till sausage is browned. Add half bag of Seasoned Arnold or Pepperidge Farm stuffing, one can chicken broth and a cup of cider. Cook till well blended, adding more liquid if necessary for a firm but moist stuffing.
Crown Roast with Apple and Sausage Stuffing topped by Perfect Gravy make an elegant setting for the crown jewel, Sweet Potato aux Peeps (see previous post).
A visually rich composition of sweet and savory, smooth and textured brings rave reviews from assembled guests. "It's the best Easter Dinner I've ever had" claimed Goomp. Satisfying but not glutting. No post-turkey slump.
Perfect Gravy. A neat trick we learned from epicurious.com. Pour off all pan juices into a measuring cup and put into freezer for 15 minutes to separate fat (handy when you forget to pack your glass fat separator from home). Skim off most of fat, and return juices to roasting pan. Add 1 cup cider and 1/2 cup broth, and boil to reduce liquid about 5 minutes. For thickener, dissolve 4 teaspoons cornstarch in 2 tablespoons bourbon and whisk into the pan mixture.
Cornstarch or flour? Both will float your gravy boat. But flour makes an opaque, velvety gravy -- perfect for your Thanksgiving turkey and requisite overload of fat-laden side dishes -- while cornstarch yields a transparent, silky gravy that complements the lighter repast that accompanied our Easter pork.