Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

For a spectacular presentation and the most delicious method of preparing a pork roast, try this Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce. It’s fit for a king and queen!

Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

Inspiration for dishes I include on this blog comes in such a wide variety of ways. Sometimes it’s just as simple as wanting to make something with seasonal produce, other times, it’s in keeping with tradition or maybe even a request from someone else. Often, it’s as simple and necessary as having to use food in the fridge.

This Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce? Blame it on Gilmore Girls! So how does that show and this Crown Roast of Pork relate? Well it’s a bit convoluted but bear with me. I was thinking about a very dear friend of mine the other day because he’s the one who introduced me to Gilmore Girls.

I became friends with Jack and his wife Brenda when I was in my 20’s and we all lived in Kirkwood, MO; a suburb of St. Louis. Over the years, I had made my way to Denver via Raleigh, NC and hadn’t lived close to he and his wife Brenda for a long time but we always kept in touch.

At first I felt awkward when we were on the phone one evening and he shared that he was watching Gilmore Girls, thinking he was spying on the neighbor kids. I was sure relieved to find it was a television show he and Brenda enjoyed. I remember Kirkwood was a bit like Stars Hollow back then and I felt some melancholy for the city we had left behind.

The Gilmore Girls

Set in the storybook Connecticut town of Stars Hollow, Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) was populated by an eclectic mix of dreamers, artists and everyday folk and the multi-generational drama about family and friendship centers around single mom Lorelai Gilmore and her daughter, Rory.

Lorelai owns the town’s bed-and-breakfast, the Dragonfly Inn, with best friend/chef Sookie Z (an almost unknown Melissa McCarthy) and contends with weekly dinners with eccentric, well-off parents Richard and Emily Gilmore (who always have something to say about their daughter’s life). I was a single mom of two girls but my daughter Emily was in college by then and my youngest, Lauren, was Rory’s age and it became one of our steadfast traditions that we watch it together each week.

Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

With the renewed interest of late with the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t help but think of John and Brenda and their kids and a delicious recall of a holiday dinner at their home when Brenda had made a gorgeous main course dish I had never seen before. One guess? Yes…it was a Crown Roast of Pork!

This was all in the back of my mind when I saw one already prepped and ready to go at the local market. Knowing my schedule this month included making a holiday dish using Swanson® Organic Free-Range Chicken Stock, the Gods of Food were with me; I was duly inspired and I got to work.

It was prophetic that I am working with Swanson® again this year; this dish uses Organic Free-Range Chicken Stock in both the stuffing and the gravy and I added one more use; just a personal preference of mine for all roasts I make.

I like to pour some liquid in the bottom of my roasting pan to prevent roasts from burning on the bottom. This year I made a mixture of orange juice and stock and when all was said and done, those flavors combined with the drippings and a caramelized orange sauce made for some amazing gravy.

I know that oranges and cranberries were not part of that long ago recipe but I love them and including them in this updated version was all good, or rather, I should say all delicious!

Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

Swanson® challenged us to make something with their new Swanson® Organic Free-Range Chicken Stock that would show how hosting doesn’t have to be so challenging with a delicious dish that will wow guests and take under an hour to make. Well…I fudged a bit. Mostly because this is so very easy even if the timing element takes it above that plateau.

Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

So I’ve got a plan for you…break the preparation into two days and on the day of serving the only thing you’ll have to do is rub the roast with an herb paste, cover the bone tips so they don’t burn and fill it with stuffing; into the oven it goes and that’s it.

I might have turned mine halfway through roasting but there is no constant watching and basting like we have to do with turkey so I say set it and forget it! Carving? Simple; just cut between the rib bones for each serving…I mean it…SO easy!

Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

I haven’t done one of these in a very long time and now am wondering why. Maybe it’s the size. Crown Roasts are best formed when two whole pork loins are bent slightly and tied together to make that circle and, as a result, they have a lot of ribs. This can easily serve 12 and still have leftovers.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a problem with that. As a matter of fact, I had 8 people for dinner, and a couple of the guys had seconds. Then, a friend had some the next day, and I’ve probably got 8 nice big chops left. Into the freezer they go in individual freezer bags with a couple of spoonfuls of the rice stuffing and a bit of the sauce, and I’ll freeze them for meals this winter. Two minutes in the microwave or a pan of hot water and dinner is served…I call that a win-win leftover situation!

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Crown Roast of Pork with Wild Rice Stuffing and Caramelized Orange Sauce

A spectacular presentation for a holiday meal, this crown roast of pork is simple to make and so easy to serve too!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12 -16 Servings
Calories: 138kcal
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

For the Stuffing: (Can be made a day ahead)

  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups wild rice mix
  • 2 cups Swanson® Certified Organic Free-Range Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup mandarin orange segments halved (I used Cuties!)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans toasted
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ cup dry white wine

For the Orange Caramel: (Can be made a day ahead)

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 cups Swanson® Certified Organic Free-Range Chicken Stock
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Roast:

  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary stemmed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 9- to 10- lb crown roast of pork bones frenched
  • Fresh cranberries and orange slices for garnish optional

Instructions

To Make the Stuffing: (Can be done one day ahead)

  • In a medium saucepan combine wild rice mix, Swanson Organic Free-Range Chicken Stock, water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover partially and cook until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes.
  • Place cranberries in a small bowl, cover with hot water, allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain and cool and the combine with oranges and pecans. In a medium skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Add in the onions and cook stirring occasionally until softened, about 10 minutes; add a tablespoon of butter if the onions start to dry out. Add thyme, sage and wine and stir to combine scraping up any brown bits. Cook until liquid has evaporated.
  • Combine the rice and onions mixture and stir in the fruit and nut mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.

To Make the Orange Caramel (for the sauce):

  • Stir the sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until caramel is deep amber, about 8 minutes.
  • Remove pan from heat; gradually whisk in orange juice and bourbon. Set pan over medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the Swanson Chicken Stock and marmalade and boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Set caramel sauce aside. (Can be made a day ahead and slightly warmed before making the gravy).

To Make the Pork:

  • Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat roast with paper towels and transfer to a shallow roasting pan.
  • In a food processor pulse the sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. Rub the herb mixture generously over the roast, including the inside cavity. Loosely fill cavity with the rice stuffing and cover the exposed tips of ribs with aluminum foil.
  • Spoon leftover stuffing into a buttered baking dish and refrigerate until ready to bake.
  • Roast the pork, covering the rice with foil after 30 minutes, until thermometer inserted in between the rib bones reaches 150°F, about 2 to 2 1/4 hours total. Allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes, loosely covered with foil.
  • Cover the extra stuffing in the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes until heated through.

To Make the Caramelized Orange Sauce:

  • Whisk cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Spoon off and discard fat from drippings in pan. Place roasting pan over 2 burners set at medium heat.
  • Pour in reserved orange caramel sauce; set saucepan aside. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits from bottom of roasting pan. Boil for 30 seconds, then return sauce to reserved saucepan.
  • Stir in liqueur. Bring sauce to a boil; whisk in cornstarch mixture. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

Presentation:

  • Put the roast in the center of a large serving platter and surround it with a combination of fresh cranberries and orange slices. I actually candied the orange slices so that people could have fun eating them. I like this recipe for Candied Oranges from Grace Parisi on Food and Wine. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/candied-orange-slices

Notes

Depending on how you prepare a roast, you might want to do what I did and add some liquid to the bottom of the roasting pan. I combined equal parts water, orange juice and chicken stock in the bottom of the pan; about a cup total. When I turned the roast halfway during cooking, I checked that level and added another cup. Before making the final sauce, I did simmer off some of the remaining liquid in the pan; leaving primarily the drippings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1grams | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g

This post is sponsored by Swanson® however all commentary is my own.

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4 Comments

    1. This was amazing so hope you do try one John. No one at our dinner had ever done one…they were too scared but the truth is they are SO easy. I would rather make one in a heartbeat compared to the hassle of a turkey!

      1. When ever the Swanson organic chicken stock is mentioned in this recipe the measurements are never stated!!! should I guess?

        1. Oh my gosh Sherrill…I’m shocked and truly apologetic; I have no idea why those measurements were not included! I’ve added them to the recipe and hope I’ve not messed up dinner; thank you so much for the heads up!

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