From the pantry or Hagen's veggie box:
1 tbsp of fennel seeds, toasted
4 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
4 shallots, halved length-ways
6 cloves of garlic
1 can of cider
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 220c. Toast the fennel seeds in a pan until fragrant. Grind in a mortar and pestle with one tablespoon of salt until you have a coarse powder. Dry the skin of the pork (it will already be scored by our skilled butchers) and rub in the salt and fennel mixture. Set aside.
2. Finely slice the fennel bulbs and place into a roasting pan. It will seem like a lot of fennel but it will reduce essentially to a jam. Season with olive oil, salt & pepper. Scatter around the shallots and garlic and place the pork skin side up on the fennel. Pop an apple in each corner. Season again with olive oil, salt & pepper. Pour in the can of cider being careful not to wet the pork.
3. Pop in to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, keep and eye on the crackling and make sure it isn’t burning. Reduce the heat to 170c and roast for 4.5 hours. You can remove the apples half way through if you want and make an apple sauce, or just leave them in to form a jam with the onion and fennel.
4. Remove the pan and set the pork aside covered in aluminium foil to rest. Remove the skin from the apples and any pips you can find, if you haven’t cored earlier. You can add a little splash of apple cider vinegar and taste for seasoning. Stir to combine and place the fennel jam in a serving dish. It's now time to cut the pork. As it is slow roasted it will more than likely fall apart rather than slice into hunks. Place the pork on the fennel and serve
5. As usual, we’re serving with perfect roast potatoes and an endive salad with a simple vinaigrette for some acidity.
6. Enjoy with friends and a nice Pinot Noir from Noisy Ritual.