Celebration roasts

Two classics accommodate an elegant dinner for 4 or a feast for 18
ELAINE JOHNSON

A beautiful roast is pure tabletop drama. Two of the grandest of all, the Wellington and the crown ― both retro icons of dinner-party chic ― are back in vogue. For a contemporary twist, scale them to an intimate group instead of a crowd: Wellington done with a petite pork tenderloin, or a crown of lamb ribs, makes an elegant centerpiece for a small party. However, the traditional beef Wellington and crown roast of pork are still absolute showstoppers for a throng.

The good news is that these roasts couldn't be easier to prepare. In the case of the Wellingtons, all assembly can be done ahead so the roasts stand ready to bake and serve. The crowns only need to be popped into the oven.

Beauty has its price, of course ― typically $50 to $75 for the large roasts. Protect your investment with a reliable thermometer; cook the meat just to the recommended temperature.