New Year’s Crown Pork Roast with Cornbread Stuffing

Welcome to 2012! We hosted a great diner party to ring in the new year and our menu was based on a few key components: easy, budget friendly, delicious, impressive.
Amazingly, this meal was all of those and more.  We had each couple bring a component to share: appetizer, salad, dessert and as the host we prepared the main entree.  This not only took a lot of pressure off us for all the little things that can add up in money and time, but it also allowed each guest to contribute something they love.  We chose crown roast pork for it’s beautiful presentation and it is very budget friendly at $5/ lb.  Our sides are all produce- whole foods with simple prep and ingredients which we mostly had on hand.  Our grocery list was very small- veggies, herbs, the roast, fresh bread, fresh flowers, wine/ champagne and our cheeses.
Our menu looked like this:
Appetizers:
Assorted Cheeses with Fresh Baguette Slices
Spinach Artichoke Dip
Sliced Tenderloin of Venison
Panko Crusted Shrimp
Shrimp Cocktail
Salad:
Wedge Salad with bacon, avocado, blue cheese, tomato and red onion
Main Course:
Crown Roast of Pork
Sides:
Cornbread Stuffing
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Carrots with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley
Parsnips in a Parsley Herb Butter Sauce
Sauces:
Homemade Butter with Honey
Homemade Chimi Churi
Dessert:
Ice Box Cake, ( Chocolate Cookies layered with Vanilla Ice Cream)
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
We had a wonderful time serving our guests and enjoying the party, everything timed perfectly.  We made sure to prep all our sides the day before and some the morning of.  The parsnips, potatoes and carrots were all tossed in their goodness the day before and in sealed bowls in the fridge, we seasoned and sealed the roast the night before, the Cornbread was baked off in the morning and then all assembled and in the fridge, we made the sauces/ butter day of, and 5 hours before serving time we took out the roast to come to room temperature.  Each of the sides were oven and stove top ready and just needed to be cooked off.  Doing a roast is the perfect way to have an easy dinner party- it needs to cook for a while so you have time to prep ( or nap if the prepping is done!) and then when it rests you can finish off all the cooking in the oven with the sides- while we enjoyed the salad with our guests.  Read below for all our recipes on how we made this easy, budget friendly, delicious, impressive meal:

Cornbread Stuffed Crown Roast of Pork
adapted from Paula Dean
Pork Roast:
6 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 (10-pound) crown of pork, rib ends frenched
Stuffing:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium white onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups crumbled cornbread ( my recipe used is next)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions
For the pork roast: In a blender, puree the oil, garlic, and sage until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Rub the mixture over the pork roast, making sure to cover the areas between the chops. Transfer the pork to a roasting pan and cover it with foil. Refrigerate it for at least 2 hours and up to 48 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Turn the roast upside down (rib bones down) in the roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and roast until an instant-read thermometer reads 155 degrees F when inserted 2 inches into the center of the meat, about 1 1/2 hours more.

For the stuffing: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green pepper, onion, celery, and garlic and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture with the crumbled cornbread. Add the eggs, broth, rosemary, cilantro, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Slowly stir in more broth, if needed, until the stuffing is moistened. Press the stuffing into a 2-quart casserole.

Thirty minutes before removing the roast, place the stuffing in the oven. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.

When the roast is done, remove it from the oven, tent with foil, and let stand for at least 15 minutes. When the stuffing is done, mound half of it on a serving platter. Flip the roast upright on top of the stuffing. Fill the center of the roast with the remaining stuffing. Slice at the table

Gluten Free Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins
adapted from The Baking Beauties
Yields 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup Pamela’s Baking mix
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin pan and set aside.
In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Stir in sugar.
Add eggs and stir to combine, Stir in buttermilk.
Add dry ingredients, and stir until few lumps remain, scoop into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack, crumble and use in the stuffing recipe above!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Whole Carrots with Fresh Herbs and Garlic
adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients
3 lbs assorted fingerling potatoes
1 lb whole carrots, top leaves removed only
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 lemons, halved
6 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
2 cloves, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus for sheet pan
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and place a baking sheet inside to heat.

Add potatoes, rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic to a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Remove sheet pan from oven, lightly coat with olive oil, and pour potatoes onto pan. Place potatoes in oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy on outside and tender on inside.

Herbed Butter Parsnips
adapted from Tyler Florence

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced into circles
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herb Butter:
1 stick ( 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup mixed chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Put the olive oil and butter into a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and toss to coat them well with the fat; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Herb Butter by combining the soft butter and herbs together; season with some salt and pepper.

Add the hot vegetables and Herb Butter.

Chimi Churi
adapted from Food.com

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
8 cloves garlic
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 lemon (juice of)
2 tablespoons diced red onion
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Pulse parsley in processor to chop. Add remaining ingredients and blend.

Homemade Butter

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip cream with salt and honey until it becomes solid and separates from the liquids, 6-8 minutes.  Drain excess liquid and scoop into serving dishes.

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