Apple & Sausage Dressing with Sage

Here is my delicious and easy apple/sausage dressing (it’s stuffing only if cooked inside the roast or bird). Make this with my Crown Roast of Pork and your taste budds will be doing their happy dance!!

For up to 10 people

2 pounds sausage meat (w/o fennel if possible)
1 loaf day old bread (Italian cibata or French baguette)
2-3 apples (cored and cut into 1″ pieces – do not peel)
4-5 stalks celery (chopped)
1 large onion diced
sage (dry ok)
Kosher salt
Butcher pepper
4 cloves garlic smashed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup Calvados
Chicken stock as needed

Cut bread into 1″ squares, arrange on cookie sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
Pour a “2 count” of EVOO into a large skillet and heat over a high flame for 1 minute, lower heat to medium and add onion and garlic, saute until onion is limp. Remove onion and garlic and set aside. In same pan add the sausage and cook until brown. Remove and set aside. Place celery, apples, thyme, and sage into the sausage drippings and cook until the apples sweat, add the Calvados and cook until all the liquid is rendered, mixing constantly. Salt and pepper to taste. Add sausage, onion, garlic and bread and mash ingredients together, adding chicken stock to moisten as needed a quarter cup at a time. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper as needed. Let cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from head and place in a bowl and set aside. Once your roast is done, spoon the dressing onto the top of the crown and present prior to slicing the roast for serving.

Pork Crown Roast with Apple & Sausage Dressing

Up here in the Northeast, once the first snow flies and the temps drop down to the 20s even the most enthusiastic BBQer needs to retire the smoker for the winter and bring the cooking inside.  That’s exactly what I’ve done.  I love “conventional” cookery almost as much as smoking.  Winter is the perfect season for all those slow cooked delicacies – roasts, braised short ribs (YUM), stews, and soups!

This next recipe is perfect for Christmas or New Years day.  If you have never had a crown roast of pork, you have been missing something extraordinary!

I made this for Christmas day along with my apple and sage dressing and Calvados gravy.  Finish it off with some Brussel sprouts and it don’t get much better!

I have posted all three recipes for you to try!  Buon Appetito!


Serves 12-14

1 – 10-12 pound pork rib roast (12-14 ribs) – have your butcher tie it in a crown and French the ribs, saves time and nine times out of ten, the butcher does a better job

1-2 TBS dry sage (+/- 30 leaves fresh)

4-5 cloves garlic

1 TBS dry rosemary (this is one of the few herbs that is more fragrant dry than fresh)


Kosher salt

Butcher pepper

Tin foil cut into 2″x4″ strips (12-14 pieces depending on the number of ribs in the roast)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees – adjusting rack to lower 1/3 of oven so roast will fit

Place roast in center of a medium roasting pan (12×24)

Dry brine your roast by evenly covering all the surface with Kosher salt

Do the same with the Butcher pepper to taste

Place sage, rosemary, garlic in your food processor and pulse until the mixture creates a dry paste

Drizzle EVOO into your food processor while continuing to pulse mixture – when the mixture is the consistency of honey stop adding EVOO

Take the sage and garlic paste and liberally apply it to all exposed surfaces of your crown roast.

Take the strips of tin foil and cover the exposed bone at the end of each chop (this keeps the bones from burning during initial cooking)

Place roast in the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes (until the temperature of the roast near the bone is 140 degrees

At this point, remove the tin foil from the bones and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees

Let the roast cook another 30 – 45 minutes (until the temperature of the roast is 150 degrees near the bone)

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes (covered with a towel or tin foil to keep in heat and moisture)

MAKING THE GRAVY (you can start this during the last 30 minutes of cooking and complete is while the roast is resting)

Prep time +/- 40 minutes
3 apples – peeled and cored
Juice of 1 orange
3 carrots
4-5 stalks celery
5 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 onion – sliced thin
1 cup Calvados (French apple brandy – don’t skimp on the price, quality varies widely according to price so buy the bet you can afford)
4 cups chicken stock

Combine first 5 ingredients in your food processor and pulse until you have made a mash.  Add ½ cup of EVOO and continue to pulse.

Put roasting pan (with drippings) over medium heat and drizzle a 2 count of EVOO into the pan.  Add the crushed garlic and onions into the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes. **This might be a good time to check your roast and remove it if ready.

Remove the garlic and onion from the pan and discard.

Add the mash into the pan and cook well for about 10 – 15 minutes.  Add extra EVOO if/as necessary.  Once the mash has softened into a paste, add the Calvados.  Cook off the alcohol (about 10 minutes).  Sprinkle a layer of flour over the surface of the pan and mix in with a whisk, making sure there are no lumps.  Add chicken stock and increase temperature to high bringing mixture to a boil then return to medium (add more flour if necessary but the gravy should not be too thinks).  Cook for another 5 – 7 minutes to reduce liquid.  Remove from heat and strain through a sieve to remove most of the mash – push some of the mash through to naturally thicken the gravy.