When I first tested this recipe for the book, I delivered the final dish to our neighbors, the Buchbinders. They had a house full of family visiting their new son, Rhys, and we conducted an informal tasting. It was a hit, and they served it again as leftovers; they said it was even better the next night. This recipe turned out just the way I envisioned it; the stuffing is perfect for pork.

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Ingredients

Stuffing

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
  • cups chopped pecans
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups hand-torn sourdough bread pieces, crusts removed
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Crown Roast

  • ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10-pound pork crown roast (about 12 to 14 ribs), trenched and tied
  • Calvados Gravy

Method

Make the stuffing: Set a large skillet over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, sage, and thyme. As the oil heats, the herbs will crackle and infuse the oil with flavor. Use tongs to remove the sage branches and set aside on a paper towel to drain; these will be used as a garnish. Add the onions to the pan and cook slowly over medium heat until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Add the apple slices and pecans to the skillet. Gently sauté over high heat until the pecans are lightly toasted and the apples are slightly cooked, 3 to 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and chicken broth. Add the bread, caramelized onions, apples, pecans, and parsley. Use a wooden spoon to mix the stuffing well. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and adjust a rack to the bottom third of the oven. Place a roasting rack inside a large roasting pan.

Prepare the Roast

In a small bowl, combine the thyme, sage, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Add enough oil to moisten, and stir to combine. Using a brush, smear the roast all over with the herb paste, covering all surfaces.

Place the roast on the rack in the roasting pan, and fill the cavity with the apple-pecan stuffing. Cover the tips of the rib bones with foil, then place the pork in the oven and roast for 2½ hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted near the bone reads 150°F. Check the stuffing after 1½ hours, and cover with foil if it becomes too dark.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest for 30 minutes while you make the Calvados gravy. Cut between the bones to carve the roast into individual chops.

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