The finest cut of pork for roasting is the loin, which stretches along the backbone from the shoulder and provides a continuous strip of tender, juicy meat. When the loin is left on the bone, it’s called a rack of pork. A rib crown roast, is two pork racks tied together with the ribs Frenched—or scraped clean.
When buying a crown roast, ask the butcher to remove the chine bones (part of the backbone) in order to bend and tie the roast into the “crown” but not to cut into the meat of the roast. A roast trimmed like this will stay juicy and look pretty, too, which is important because a crown roast is all about dramatic presentation. Also, instead of weight, some butchers want to know the number of ribs you’d like—16 ribs makes for a nice crown.
Years ago, when trichinosis was a concern, pork was traditionally cooked to well done. This meant that it was roasted to an internal temperature of 170°F, with no trace of pink at the center. Now, however, it’s generally considered safe by most cooks (and definitely tastier) to eat pork that’s juicy and very lightly pink. It should register 145°F on an instant-read thermometer when it comes out of the oven.
When removed from the oven, the rib crown roast, like all roasted meats, should be loosely covered with foil and left to stand in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes so that the juices redistribute and the meat holds together better for carving.
You can refrigerate the whole crown for up to 3 days.