What is a Crown Roast?

Mary McMahon

A crown roast is a special meat roast made from the rib section of the loin cut. The cut is tied in a circle and roasted ribs up so that it resembles a crown. Typically, this cut is filled with some sort of stuffing, and it appears most often at formal events and big holiday meals.

Olive oil, which can be used to marinate a crown roast.
Olive oil, which can be used to marinate a crown roast.

Pork, lamb, and veal are the typical choices of meats for crown roast. The loin cut comes from the rear portion of the upper back, and the tips of the ribs are typically trimmed so that they jut out from the roast. A smaller roast may be made by using part of a loin, and larger versions are made by joining multiple loins together. After cooking, it is traditional to decorate the ends of the ribs with frilly paper hats. Since meat cooked on the bone tends to be more tender and flavorful, this dish is often rich in flavor and juices.

Pork, lamb and veal are the most common meats used for crown roast.
Pork, lamb and veal are the most common meats used for crown roast.

The stuffing may be made from any number of ingredients. For food safety reasons, many cooks prefer to cook the stuffing separately, ensuring that the stuffing and the roast are thoroughly cooked. Including the stuffing in the crown roast while it bakes will slow the cooking time, which may cause the meat to dry out, or be uncooked in places. Once both elements are cooked, they can be combined and finished briefly in the oven, if desired.

To prepare a crown roast, preheat an oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius). Dress or marinate the meat as desired; a simple dressing might include olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence. When the oven is warm, insert the roast, and cook until the internal temperature has reached at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius) in the case of pork, and slightly lower in the case of lamb and veal, if a moist, slightly rare crown roast is desired. Remove the roast and allow it to rest briefly before serving. Drippings can be used to create a gravy which might be served along with the crown roast. Since the serving process can get slightly messy, some cooks like to briefly show the roast at the table before taking it back into the kitchen and dividing it.

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Discussion Comments


I don't know where you live, but Herbes de Provence is widely available in large supermarkets, through various spice merchants online or at specialty food stores. It is a blend of basil, fennel seed, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory and thyme. If you want to use "Mrs. Dash" go ahead, but it would not be the same thing.


Can anybody tell me what herbs de Provence is exactly? I assume it's some kind of blend but my grocery store doesn't carry it. Think some Mrs. Dash would be a decent substitute?

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