Crown Roast of Pork with Apple Zucchini Rice Dressing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 6 to 8
Apple Zucchini Rice Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 3 cups raw pork sausage
  • 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 large zucchini squash, peeled and chopped
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) store-bought rice dressing mix or homemade (get the recipe here)
  • 6 cups cooked long-grain white rice, such as Supreme
Roast Pork
  • 2 quarts (64-ounces) apple juice
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup sugarcane molasses, such as Steen’s
  • 1 (8.5-pound) crown roast of pork, tied with bones frenched
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 ½ cups (about 12) whole fresh cherries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Apple Zucchini Rice Dressing
  1. In a large pot with a lid over medium-high heat, add the oil. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté until the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until it begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the seasoning and 1 cup of chicken stock.
  2. Add the zucchini, apples, and dressing mix. Stir to incorporate and lower the heat to simmer. Let cook for 10 minutes and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the cooked rice. If needed, add additional stock to achieve a moist (not soupy) dressing texture. Cover and keep warm until serving.
Roast Pork
  1. For the brine, in a large stock pot that will fit your crown roast, add the apple juice and salt. Bring to a boil and dissolve the salt. Add the molasses, stir to dissolve, and turn off the heat. Add cold water to double the volume of the juice and let cool.
  2. Add the crown roast to the mixture along with a few handfuls of ice to cool. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  4. Remove the crown roast and dry with paper towels. With a sharp paring knife remove any extra fat and peel back any remaining skin or meat from the top 2 inches of each bone. (Note: If your roast is not tied already, surround the roast with kitchen twine and tie tightly to keep the meat in a circle.)
  5. For the marinade, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the garlic powder, onion powder, and white pepper. Once the seasonings have dissolved, turn off the heat.
  6. Using a meat injector, fill with the butter marinade and inject into the thickest part of the meat several times. Continue until all the marinade is used and the meat is fully injected. Lightly sprinkle the roast with the Cajun seasoning.
  7. In a large roasting pan fitted with a wire rack, add the chicken stock along with the carrots, onion, rosemary, and cherries. Place the roast on the rack and move into the middle rack of the oven uncovered. Reduce the temperature to 325ºF and cook for 1 hour.
  8. Check the roast to see that it is cooking evenly and that the top is not browning too quickly. If it is, place aluminum foil over the top of the roast and place back in the oven for 1 hour longer.
  9. After 2 hours, the roast should be nearing doneness, so take a temperature reading to check by placing the thermometer in the thickest part of the roast. The ideal internal temperature for moist roast pork is 145ºF, so cover the roast with aluminum foil and continue cooking until you reach that temperature. Once your roast is done, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.
  10. For the pan gravy and cherry sauce, remove the cooked cherries from the roasting pan and strain the juices into a saucepan.
  11. Mix the cornstarch with cold water and stir to make a slurry. Bring the juices to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened to a gravy consistency, about 3 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Add the cherries to a cutting board and remove the seeds and stems. Rough chop the cherries and add to a small condiment bowl.
  13. For serving, add the roast to a platter and remove the string. Slice the chops into individual servings, but retain the shape of the roast. Serve the dressing on the side or optionally spoon some of the dressing into the center of the roast. Present the roast at the center of the table and serve with pan gravy and chopped cherries.
The size of the roast and the number of chops will determine how many servings you will get. Prep time does not include the time to brine. Call ahead and allow a couple of days for your butcher to prepare the crown roast. Important to note that the overall cooking time for the meat is dependent on the size of your roast and thickness of your chops. I like the rustic presentation, but some like the frilly little paper “hats” for the tops of the bones – it’s your call.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at