- 1 (about 2.5 kg) large pork shoulder on the bone
- 3 T fennel seeds
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- olive oil, for frying
- 2 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
- 1 x 1 T fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 large sprig rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 large sprig thyme, finely chopped
1. Place the pork in a roasting tray skin side down and fill a third of the way with water. Add 2 T fennel seeds, salt and pepper and bring to the boil on the stovetop. Simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sauté the onion and garlic in a generous splash of oil until soft. Add all the other ingredients (crush the remaining fennel seeds) and fry for 1 minute. Cool slightly.
3. Remove the pork from the water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place it on a double sheet of heavy foil. Rub the meat all over with salt and pepper, then spread the pan mixture over the meaty side.
4. Wrap the pork tightly in foil by bringing the sides up and over the top so no juices can leak out. Place it in a roasting tray.
5. Roast at 130˚C for 8–10 hours or overnight, until the meat pulls away from the bone.
6. Carefully remove the pork from the oven and from the foil parcel, taking care not to lose any juices. (The juices are perfect for making gravy or to drizzle over the meat.) Place the pork on a low rack in the oven and grill, skin side up, for 20 minutes or until the crackling is super-crisp and blistered.
Cook's note: This recipe makes the most succulent pork shoulder you’ve ever tasted. The secret to insanely crispy crackling is to boil the skin for 20 minutes.
Photographs: Craig Fraser
Production: Caroline Gardner
This recipe is an extract from Oink! The Perfect Pork Cookbook, published by Quivertree Publications and available at all good book stores.