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Crown Roast of Pork with Rice Stuffing

INGREDIENTS


THE STUFFING:

1 cup converted rice (yields 2 1/2 cups cooked rice)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup onions, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ pound ground beef or pork sausage meat
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup coarsely chopped fennel
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 whole egg, beaten
½ cup chopped parsley
¾ cup pistachio nuts (pretoasted or toasted in a dry skillet)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

THE PORK:

8-pound crown roast of pork (ask butcher to prepare crown without any stuffing)
Vegetable oil for coating roast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 white onions
1 ½ cups chicken stock
½ cup water

PREPARATION


THE STUFFING:

1. Bring 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rice, return to a boil while stirring and simmer 17 minutes. Stir occasionally. Drain well and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter and add onions and garlic. Stir 5 minutes. Add sausage meat and break it up with a fork. Add bell pepper, fennel, cumin and clove. Cook about 10 minutes while stirring.

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4. In large mixing bowl, combine rice with sausage mixture. Add egg, parsley, pistachio nuts, salt and pepper. Blend well.

THE PORK:

1. Cut a circle of aluminum foil roughly the shape of the crown roast and place in center of roasting pan. Put the pork on it. Fill inside of roast with stuffing, packing it firmly as you go. The filling should reach the top; smooth it over with a spatula and cover stuffing (but not meat) with aluminum foil.

2. Coat meat with vegetable oil and dust lightly with salt; season generously with pepper. Press dried rosemary sprigs around the exterior. Scatter onions around roast and cook about 2 hours in the preheated oven. Baste occasionally. The interior of the meat should reach 155 degrees.

3. Transfer pork to serving platter, covering loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm.

4. Pour off fat from roasting pan and remove circular piece of foil from pan. Leave backbone sections and onions in pan and place pan over medium-high flame. Add chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil while scraping bottom of pan to remove clinging particles. Simmer 5 minutes. Strain the liquid and serve it as gravy with pork.

YIELD

12-14 servings