LIVE on NBC TV – Making Christmas Dinner Great Again – A Rockwell’esque Holiday Feast


Last television show of the year – With thousands of miles booked, dozens of flights & even more shows logged on the docket over the last 12 months – My culinary travels have come full-circle. LIVE from NBC Studios in my hometown on the Gold Coast of Grand Rapids, MI, with my 2 favorite holiday hostesses with the mostesses – Making Christmas dinner great again!

Before I nestle in to enjoy the reason for this season, in this post I’ll share 4 of my favorite holiday recipes – A 5-Star Rockwell’esque holiday feast – Herb-encrusted pork crown roast plated with rustic charred vegetables & a gorgeous pear-pecan stuffing. Sided by a sweet purple kale winter salad with sweet berries, smoky pecans & a gorgeous maple-bacon vinaigrette. Last, but far from least, a mulled & chilled maple-cider beverage, twisted with a dose of bourbon & essence of rosemary.

Read on. Stay hungry. Be blessed. Ho! Ho! Ho! -David



Herb-Encrusted Pork Loin Crown Roast

Author: A Bachelor & His Grill


  • 1 12-16 bone-in pork loin roast frenched, tied and wrapped
  • 13-15 strands kitchen twine cut to 12", if not wrapped by butcher
  • 2 strands kitchen twine cut to 24", if not wrapped by butcher
  • 1 cup olive oil plus additional to baste
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons each dried basil, rosemary, sage and thyme, finely ground in pestle and mortar
  • 6-8 cloves garlic minced
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • Rye & Sourdough Pear-Pecan Stuffing recipe in post below


  • From your butcher purchase a, "tied and wrapped, bone-in, frenched, crown roast of pork."
  • hours prior to roasting, remove crown roast from refrigeration, wrap tightly in plastic and set on the counter to rest, elevating the pork up to room temperature. 15 minutes prior to roasting turn oven up to 500F.
  • Whisk together olive oil, herbs and garlic, then rub into the pork. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Wrap the frenched bones in tin foil to avoid excessive burning during the cooking process. Over an elevated roasting rack, roast for 15-20 minutes at 500F. Reduce oven temperature to 350F, basting intermittently with oil, until the pork is within 10F of desired serving temperature (see notes section below). Then turn back up to 500F for final 5 minutes of cooking. Remove from oven & rest uncovered for 10 minutes. Reserve roasting pan liquids.
  • To present, spoon over the Rye & Sourdough Pear-Pecan Stuffing (recipe below). Dress the serving dish with roasted vegetables, bright and colorful greens and berries.
  • To serve, remove kitchen twine, slice between the bone, across the grain. Drizzle the chop with a spoonful of liquid from the roasting pan. Top with stuffing. Season additionally, to taste. Devour.


Butchering | Tying | Wrapping: A full primal rack of pork loin includes 16 ribs. Crown Roast can be prepared using 1 or 2 racks of frenched bone-in pork loin. The following video is a great step-by-step demonstration of how to butcher, tie & wrap a crown roast at home, using 2 racks. The process is identical for 1 rack.
Chef's tip - In addition to wrapping the roast, tie between the bones, as demonstrated in the NBC segment - This additional effort will aide in more even roasting of the pork.
Pork Internal Temperature - Serving Guide: Roast at 500F for 15-20 minutes. Turn down and roast at 350F until within 10F of serving temperature. Turn oven back up to sear at 500F for last 5 minutes. Remove from oven when within 7F of serving temperature. Rest for 10 minutes prior to carving.
Well-Done - Serve at 150F. Sear at 140F. Remove from oven at 143F.
Medium - Serve at 145F. Sear at 135F. Remove from oven at 138F.


Rye & Sourdough Pear-Pecan Stuffing

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill


  • 4 cups day-old rye bread diced into 1" cubes
  • 4 cups day-old sourdough bread diced in 1" cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 1 large red onion finely diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic minced
  • 3-4 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped
  • 2 pears diced
  • Dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons each dried and ground rosemary, thyme, sage, basil and oregano.
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • 1/2 bunch parsley chopped
  • Salted and dry roasted pecans chopped


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Over a large baking sheet spread bread cubes and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, vigorously whisk together heavy cream, chicken stock and egg. Set aside.
  • In a sauté pan over medium-high heat bring olive oil to a simmer. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrot, sautéing until onion is just translucent. Stir in pears and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and toss in toasted rye, sourdoug bread, and cranberries. Pour over heavy cream-chicken stock mixture. Dust with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste. Fold all ingredients together.
  • Spoon mixture into a large baking dish and bake in oven uncovered for 35 minutes at 400F, or until all liquid absorbed and mixture is golden brown. Remove from oven, rest for 5 minutes to cool. Throw in pecans and parsley, season additionally, to taste, then serve.




Purple Kale and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Winter Salad with Warm Maple-Bacon Balsamic Vinagrette

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill


  • 8-10 slices thick-cut bacon pan drippings reserved for dressing recipe below
  • Ginger & Rosemary-Scented Roast Pecans:
  • 8 ounces dry roasted and salted pecans chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 pinches granulated white sugar
  • Maple-Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons drippings from roasted bacon
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • Salad Mix:
  • Arugula
  • Japanese purple kale ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • Brussels sprouts shaved
  • Red cabbage shredded
  • Fresh basil leaves torn
  • Green onion finely chopped
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced in quarters
  • Pear finely diced
  • Blackberries
  • Dried cherries
  • Parmesan shaved


  • Preheat oven to 400F. Roast bacon until crisp, reserving pan drippings. Remove from oven, place over paper towel, chop and set aside.
  • Ginger & Rosemary-Scented Roast Pecans:
  • Toss pecans in oil, herbs and seasonings. Roast over a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven, set aside to cool over paper towel.
  • Maple-Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • In a sauté pan over medium-high heat bring bacon drippings to a simmer, then add shallots & garlic to caramelize. Pour in maple, Dijon, and season to taste. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour contents into a blender and puree. Set aside to serve warm.
  • Salad Mix:
  • Toss together salad greens, onion, fruit, berries, roasted pecans, and Parmesan. Drizzle with Warm Maple-Bacon Balsamic. Season additionally, to taste. Serve.




Maple-Bourbon Mulled Apple Cider

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill


  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 cup pure Michigan maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ginger root peeled & chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2-3 large cinnamon sticks plus additional to garnish
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 2 sprigs rosemary plus additional to garnish
  • 1 cute orange sliced, peel removed
  • 6-8 whole cloves crushed
  • 3 large star anise
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Dried apple rings to garnish


  • Pour all ingredients into large pot, except bourbon and dried apple rings. Bring to simmer on low heat, covered, for 30 min, stirring intermittently. Remove from heat, strain & allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Pour 2oz of bourbon into the bottom of a mug. Drop in thin slices of cutie oranges. Fill to brim with spiced cider. Garnish with cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs & dried apple rings. Serve warm.


Written by Live Fire Republic
David Olson is a nationally-recognized American Culinary Federation Chef, television personality and international social media influencer, award-winning recipe developer, live fire grill master, global adventurer-extraordinaire, and the creator behind, "Live Fire Republic." David has an organic and attentive audience of more than two million households weekly via countless television and event appearances, his blog, and various print, radio and social media channels. Meanwhile his recipes and creative content continue to be shared across the web and in print publications from sea to shining sea. For all media inquiries, please email PR agency, The Lisa Ekus Group; Boston, MA - Jaimee Constantine, 413.247.9325 or