Portuguese Crown Pork Roast | Home for the Holidays #SundaySupper

Portuguese Crown Pork Roast I love traditions.  In our home, they are such a huge part of our holidays.  My children have grown up also loving traditions and love that we make holiday meals at our home special.  There is something to be said about getting out the china, silver and crystal and sitting in the dining room.  We linger a little longer, chat in between courses and enjoy a menu filled with love.

On these special days, our menu tends to be a little more elaborate.  I love to try new recipes and my children get so excited to see what the new recipe for will be.  This year, we are having a Portuguese inspired menu.  It is so much fun to have a theme and include my children in the preparation for a big holiday.

We are starting with Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in a Chorizo Sauce with crusty bread to dip.  The marinade for the Crown Pork Roast will be simple, chorizo olive oil, garlic, paprika and sea salt.  On my parent’s last visit to Portugal, they came back and told me about these amazing Smashed Potatoes that they had for the first time.  You bake the potato and literally smash them with the side of a knife.  Then you pour warm garlic and olive oil and garnish with parsley.  So simple but they sound amazing and we can’t wait to try them with our meal this year.

I am tired of my boring stuffing and we have been looking for the perfect Portuguese stuffing recipe.  I finally found the perfect one in Emeril’s Potluck Cookbook and we can’t wait to put our special touch on it.  My kids are just like me, we are incapable of truly following a recipe.  The fun is never in following step by step, but to get our creative juices flowing and adding our own twist on published recipes.

All of our holidays are shared with my parents, Vovo and Vo.  My love for tradition in the home comes from my parents who are Portuguese immigrants.  Our Christmas Dinner is an event with many courses and wonderful stories that take us back to Portugal.   Vo, my dad, can hold court for hours.  Vo shares stories of growing up on a farm, growing their own grapes to make wine, cooking in a wood stove, and the precious fruits and vegetables grown in our backyard.  You can almost smell the bread wafting through the house that my grandmother made from scratch.  There is nothing we all love more than spending time around the family table listening to his stories.  We never tire of them even though we have heard these stories many times.

My kids will tell you that going to Vovo’s and Vo’s house is like visiting Mr. and Mrs. Claus.  They are always jolly, full of love and there are always treats waiting for them.  It is such a pleasure to gather Around the Family Table at their home any time of year.

As much as we love the main part of the Christmas meal, Vovo is a true baker and to her, it’s all about the desserts.   Enjoying dessert with Vovo and Vo is an event in itself.   Dessert is always accompanied by coffee.  And of course, you could never simply finish a Portuguese meal without a small glass of Portuguese port.   Dining with my parents is truly a memorable experience.

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is baking in Vovo’s cozinha (kitchen).  While Christmas cookies are an American tradition, in Portugal, you can’t celebrate Christmas without making a Bolo Rei or King’s Cake.  It has been said in Portugal that there is no Christmas without baking a Bolo Rei.  This Bolo Rei or Portuguese King Cake recipe has been in our family for generations.  We look forward to making it every year in preparation for the Holidays.   Although it is called a cake, Bolo Rei is more like sweet bread.  Traditionally there is a broad bean, usually large fava bean, and a coin placed inside the Bolo Rei.

One of the explanations for the tradition comes from a legend regarding the Three Kings as they followed the Star of Bethlehem on their way to greet baby Jesus.  On their travels, they met a baker who gave them a loaf of bread with a broad bean hidden inside it.  He told them that the one who ended up with the slice of bread with the bean should give baby Jesus his present first.

So the tradition continues and it is made clear that whoever ends up with the bean is expected to make the Bolo Rei for the following year.  Whoever wins the coin is said to be blessed with good luck.   Hmmmm…. I wonder why I always wind up with the fava bean?

We have so much fun baking Bolo Rei with Vovo every year.  Although this is a time consuming recipe, it is totally worth it to do once a year. I love the tradition behind it and love that three generations spend the day baking around the family table.  These memories will last a lifetime.


Portuguese Crown Pork Roast



Crown Pork Roast Recipe

  • Whole Pork Loin tied in a circular fashion prepared by the butcher
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup Chorizo Oil*
  • 1 tablespoon of minced Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of Chicken Broth
  • 2 pounds of peeled carrots if desired

Night before:

  1. Insert Peeled Red Onion in the middle of the Crown Pork Roast
  2. Brush the entire Crown Pork Roast with the Chorizo Oil
  3. Spread the minced Garlic evenly over the roast
  4. Sprinkle Paprika, salt and peper over the roast
  5. Place the Bay Leaves on the roast
  6. Marinate in the refrigerator over night
Day of:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position oven shelf in the bottom third of oven
  2. Place roast, bone tips up, on rack in a shallow roasting pan.
  3.  Place a small piece of aluminum foil over each of the bone tips so that they will not burn.
  4. Add the Carrots and Chicken Broth to the bottom of the pan
  5. Bake 10 minutes, uncovered, at 450°F.
  6.  Reduce oven temperature to 325°  F. and continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches the desired temperature of 140° to 145°F on a meat thermometer, approximately 2 1/2 hours. (Allow about 20 to 25 minutes per pound for roasting.) Rotate roasting pan halfway through cooking time.
  7. When roast is done cooking, carefully transfer roast to a warm serving platter.  Tent with aluminum foil and let roast stand 15 minutes before serving and carving.
  8.  Before serving, pour off the fat juices from the pan and reserve for the gravy.
Chorizo Oil
  • 8 ounces of Chorizo finely chopped
  • 1 cup of Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic finely chopped
  1. Add Olive Oil to a large frying pan on medium heat
  2. When olive oil is warm add chopped Chorizo
  3. Cook for approximately 15 minutes of until Chorizo starts to get crispy
  4. Add the Garlic and cook for 5 minutes
  5. Let cool and strain (save chorizo for Portuguese Stuffing if desired)
As the whole Crown of Roast makes a beautiful presentation, present your Crown of Roast to your guests before cutting.  We love to cut  the Crown Pork Roast at the table.  My kids enjoy the tradition of watching the Crown Pork Roast being sliced and served table side as much as the meal itself.


Kid Rating:  Alexandra 8, Ronnie 10, Reis 10, Riley 9

This week’s Sunday Supper Event is all about family, heritage and traditions.    What are you family traditions?  Come share them with us this week during our #SundaySupper chat at 7 pm Eastern Time.  Our host, Beate from Galactopdx is excited bring you Home for the Holidays with these fabulous recipes:

Sunday Supper Recipes: 

– Orange Refrigerator Rolls by The Wimpy Vegetarian
– Eggs Benedict by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
– Holiday Cream Cheese Tea Ring by That Skinny Chick can Bake
– Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake by Small Wallet Big Appetite

Appetizers & Snacks
– Chicken Liver Pate by Tora’s Real Food
– Bindaetteok {Mung Bean Pancakes}by Kimchi Mom
– Crab and Asparagus Soup by The Urban Mrs.

– Potato Salad {Schwaebischer Kartoffelsalat} by Galactopdx
– Italian Orange Salad by Shockingly Delicious
– Sweet Potato Casserole by Magnolia Days
– Carrots au gratin by Juanitas Cocina 

Main Dishes
– Char Siu Bao – Chinese Roast Pork Buns by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
– Savory Crepe Cake by Vintage Kitchen Notes 
– West Indian Curried Goat by The ROXX Box
– Pot Cheese and Potato Cheese Pierogies by Cupcakes and Kale chips
– Seafood Gumbo and Grilled Oysters: A Louisiana Christmas Tradition by the Catholic Foodie
– Mom’s Paella by What Smells So Good?
– Portuguese Chorizo Crown Pork Roast by Family Foodie
– Dorie’s Chicken in a Pot by Gotta Get Baked
– New Year’s Eve Buckwheat Noodles with Mochi by The Ninja Baker
– Crab Cakes for Christmas Eve by Daddy Knows Less 
– Mile High Lasagna by Cravings of a Lunatic 

– Pizzelles {Italian Wafer Cookies} by Chocolate Moosey 
– Fudge by Dinner Dishes and Desserts 
– Crescent Cookies by Cookistry
– Christmas Stollen by Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks 
– Pfeffernusse by The Foodie Army Wife
– Creme De Menthe Cake by I Run for Wine
– Panettone Bread Pudding by the Country Girl in the Village
– Spiced Gingerbread Gooey Butter Cake | A twist on a St. Louis Favorite by Daily Dish Recipes 
– Chocolate Gingerbread Layer Cake with Eggnog Cream Cheese by Crispy Bits and Burnt Ends
– Jamaican Christmas Pudding by Lovely Pantry
– White Chocolate Cranberry Santa Cookies by Mooshu Jenne
– Christmas Tree Cookies by Damn Delicious 
– Old Fashioned Lady Fingers {Creamhorns} by The Meltaways
– Rose Milk Almond Falooda {Indian Dessert Drink} by Sue’s  Nutrition Buzz

– Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
– Cinnamon Infused Hot Chocolate with Southern Comfort WhippedCream by Mama Mommy Mom 

What does it mean for you to be Home for the Holidays?  Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper on December 23rd.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our #SundaySupper to talk about our Holiday Traditions.  We are so excited to have you join us.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

Please feel free to share with us and our followers your favorite Holiday recipe on our #SundaySupper Pinterest Board.  We are excited have you Around the Family Table for this special Holiday Meal.


  1. says

    Wow! What a gorgeous, impressive entree, Isabel! We usually serve pork on Christmas Eve, but I’m deep frying a turkey instead this year. I’m going to try your recipe soon…maybe Valentine’s Day?!!!! xo

  2. says

    This reminds me of my mother´s whole english roast. It looks sooo good Isabel! I make the smashed potatoes, but return them to the oven with olive oil after smashing them so they get all crusty. Your kids will have great memories with such festive grandparents! Here we eat king´s bread on jan 6. Have a happy celebration!

  3. says

    Isabel, that sounds like an incredible dinner! And that crown roast is gorgeous! Thank you for everything you do and happy holidays to you and your family!

  4. Amy Kim (@kimchi_mom) says

    I love crown roasts – always an impressive presentation! And the chorizo oil sounds delicious.

    Great stories and family traditions! I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas! It’s been really wonderful getting to know you this year!

  5. says

    Your family tradition and celebration sounds so wonderful. I love being around family for the Holidays.

    The entire meal from start to finish sounds amazing!. Enjoy!!!

    Thank you so much!!!

  6. says

    This looks like the perfect holiday dinner!! The entire meal! And I love smashed potatoes too – I drizzle rosemary flavored olive oil over them and sprinkle them with sea salt. Heaven. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Isabel. I’m so glad I found you and #SundaySupper this year :-)

  7. says

    What a fabulous crown pork roast. And wow at the chorizo olive oil. Now I need to find a butcher that will tie the pork roast in a ring like that or try to do it myself. I have to make this recipe.

    I hope your Christmas and holiday season is the happiest and best for you and your family. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings too!


  8. says

    What wonderful memories you and your kids have of Christmas with your parents. It sounds perfect – can I drop by next year? I want to hear stories about Portugal and eat every delicious morsel cooked by your dad and baked by your mom 😉 I was drooling over your description of the smashed potatoes and this pork roast looks divine! I hope you had the merriest of Christmases with your lovely family. Thank you once again for making my 2012 such a fabulous year and I’m looking forward to 2013 with my Sunday Supper family.

  9. says

    Hi Isabel! Amazing recipe and a very interesting post about family traditions. By coincidence “Family Traditions” is our theme for this week’s challenge on my project, Cookwizme: http://on.fb.me/V16GKg
    It would be great if you participate in the challenge and share one of your family recipes with our users. I think you have big chances to win, but even if you don’t, you’ll get a small present from me for participation!

  10. says

    What a beauty this dish is. It’s so pretty to look at and the flavors sound amazing. I hope you enjoyed your holidays and wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!

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