I have had next to no time to devote to grilling and have been missing my Eggs. For Christmas I decided to try something interesting. I've seen it before around this time of year, but never made or tried it. The inspiration was Cooks Illustrated Holiday Entertaining 2013, which had the Crown Roast of Pork Recipe. The picture on the cover of the magazine is what sold me. The other item I was going to make this day was Best American Dinner Rolls another Cook's Illustrated recipe from their website. One issue I had to deal with was the temperature change called for in the recipe. You start cooking the roast bones down at 475 and flip it and finish it at 300. I knew a stabilized Egg wasn't going to shed 175 degrees any time soon. So I originally planned to fire up my second Egg and get it to 300 degrees to finish off the roast. When I added the rolls to the bill of fare, I started them early enough I could drop the second Egg down from 400 to 300.
Cutting to the chase this recipe was a mixed bag technically for me and a rousing success for my guests. The technical issues were a bit puzzling. Although the temps were right on, the shallots were a bit on the toasty side and the gravy drippings had pretty much burned off when the roast was done. It turns out the pork was juicy enough that no one wanted the back up pork gravy I made. The dinner rolls lived up to their name and although I had a big batch, there were none left. The pork was out of this world: Moist and juicy, flavorful, tender and I liked the flavor from the Jack Daniel's oak chips I used to give it some light smoke exposure. The rub used to flavor the roast was also used on the red potatoes and shallots and all of the flavors were nicely complimentary. At first I was worried I was going to have too much leftover roast, but it turned out people were "fighting" over the leftovers. Everyone took some home and I was left with none. That was a nice feeling and I didn't mind the fact I was left empty-handed because I knew everyone enjoyed their Christmas dinner.
The dinner roll dough had a relatively simple dough recipe with a slightly involved series of prep steps. The dough used all-purpose flour, sugar, table salt, milk, eggs, butter and instant yeast.
The finished dough after some quality time in the stand mixer and a couple minutes of hand kneading. It now goes into a dough doubling pail for a 3 hour rise. The second picture is 3 hours later when the dough has risen.
The dough is pressed out into a 10"x12" rectangle.
The dough is rolled into a log and then gets cut into 16 equal pieces.
The dough is formed into balls and put into two 9" cake pans. The cake pans get covered with plastic wrap and then foil (not shown) and go into the fridge for 48 hours.
Here is how the roast came from the butcher: wrapped in plastic wrap and set on a garnish in a big plastic party plater container.
The roast is out of its original wrappers and containers and has been patted dry and is ready to rub,
The rub used chopped fresh thyme & rosemary, minced garlic, kosher salt & black pepper.
The roast is rubbed on all sides and then is wrapped with plastic wrap and is returned to the fridge for 24 hours.
WEDNESDAY MORNING (Christmas)-12-25-13:
24 hours have passed and the roast is back out on the counter where it will remain for an hour while I light both Eggs. The one for the roast is brought to 475 degrees and the one for the rolls is brought to 400 degrees.
The rolls were pulled out of the fridge 7 hours earlier at midnight and allowed to rise at room temperature. The foil was removed but the plastic wrap remains. The rolls are ready to head out to the Egg.
Christmas dawned clear and calm but cold. The temps were in the single digits and had warmed into the low teens at this point. The white rectangle on the countertop is a sheet of white Corian to help protect the granite counter top if I need to land the hot roast pan on the counter. I use this for my AR too.
The red potatoes have been washed and the shallots were peeled & halved.
The potatoes and shallots were added to a large bowl together with two peeled and halved apples, 1/2 stick of butter and some reserved rub. Everything was tossed to mix,
The seasoned veggies were added to a roast pan together with a v-rack.
The roast is in the roast pan and v-rack bones down and will cook for 60-90 minutes until an internal temperature of 110 is reached. The setup is platesetter legs down and some 1/2" copper plumbing T shims. This was a very tight fit. I had to shorten the dome thermo stem length.
Meanwhile the second Egg was at 400 degrees and it was time to add one pan of dinner rolls. The plate setter is installed legs down and the cake pan is sitting on 1/2 copper plumbing T 's serving as shims.
The rolls were done after 12 minutes. The second pan went on and when they were done I started dialing this Egg down to 300 degrees to finish the roast.
The roast has reached an internal temperature of 110 degrees and gets flipped to bones up to finish. I flipped it on the 475 degree Egg so I didn't lose to much temperature on the 300 degree Egg.
The roast gets pulled and is tented in foil and rests for 30 minutes. At this point I was supposed to remove the veggies from the pan and make gravy, but there were not enough drippings to do this. I heated some jarred pork gravy, but the meat was so moist that nobody wanted gravy.
Time to eat!!