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Romancing the Rib – Lemongrass Pork Crown

I like themed dishes on the grill especially on special days for couples like Valentines. In past years, I’ve amused my fiancé Donna Fong of Butchers Daughter BBQ (also my competitor on weekends), with Two Spicy Lovers Grilled Branzino (Two fish chasing each other on the plate) and Sexy Valentines Hearts (cupcake chicken thighs).

For Valentines, I found out that both Sams and Costco started stocking bone-in pork loins. On a beef roast, this is the bone-in ribeye. When you cut into the bone-side of a bone-in pork loin, you can roll it into a crown, hence its other name is a Pork Crown. When you remove the loin meat, the remaining bones becomes your Baby Back Ribs. I thought it would be fun to cook her a spicy lemongrass garlic Romancing the Rib dish for Valentines. She really liked it and I hope your loved ones do too.

  • Total Time: 4 hours 31 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 3.5 lb Pork Loin Crown Rack, Frenched
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 head garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 red Jalapeno chilies, Serrano, or Thai chilies, chopped
  • 3 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped (discard the bottom 1 inch which is hard)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons good fish sauce
  • Slap Yo Daddy All Purpose rub to taste, or salt and pepper


  1. Prepare your crown roast of pork and clean the bones of meat with a sharp boning knife. This is called Frenching. I bought mine from Costco and it was already pretty clean (you can find the same rack at Sams).
  2. Make a cut into the rack meat from the bone side so it is deep enough for you to bend the rack into a circle with the meat facing the inside and bones facing out
  3. Make a small notch in the pork chop rib bone so you could use the notch as a groove to seat the butchers’ twine to shape the rack into a circle. Test the shape before you begin the marinade process as your fabricated crown will be lying flat in the marinade bag
  4. Prepare the wet marinade by combining the lime juice, garlic, cilantro, lemon grass, sugar, and fish sauce in a large Ziploc bag. Mix it up and add the pork crown and lay it flat. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight is better. Turn over a few times to all surfaces are marinated.
  5. Remove from back and place into pit. Remove excess marinade solids and apply some SYD rub. You want to apply enough rub mixture so that the meat underneath is covered and cannot be seen
  6. Use butchers’ twine to tie at the notch you made and shape it into a crown of the Frenched bones with the bone side facing out
  7. Smoke in 325F pit with briquettes or do this in your oven. Remove when the internal temp is around 165F, about 45-60 minutes.
  8. For a better char of the meat between the bones, flambé the inside of the meat using a handheld torch and gas canister
  9. Rest the meat loosely tented for 10 minutes. Serve the crown on a round platter whole or in slices.
  • Author: Harry Soo
  • Prep Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 min
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Asian American