This is one of my favourite family recipes for the weekend. You can leave it for hours gently bubbling away in the oven and you will have a fantastic dish at the end of the day.
- 3 kg boned, rolled pork shoulder 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns 1 teaspoon crushed dried chillies 6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 175ml/3/4 cup dry white wine sautéed potatoes and salad or mashed potatoes and green beans, to serve
- a large roasting pan with a rack an ovenproof
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Cut deep slits in the pork skin with a sharp knife.
- Grind the fennel seeds, salt, peppercorns and chillies using a pestle and mortar.
- Add the chopped garlic and pound to a rough paste. Using your hands, smother the paste all over the pork, working it into the slits.
- Put the pork on a wire rack and place it over a roasting pan. Cook, skin-side up in the preheated oven, for 25–30 minutes.
- Remove the pork from the oven and reduce the heat to 120°C/fan 100°C/gas ½. Turn the pork over and pour half the lemon juice and all of the olive oil over it. Return the pork to the oven and cook for at least 7 hours, checking it every couple of hours. About halfway through the cooking time, spoon off the excess fat and squeeze the remaining lemon juice over the meat.
- About 30 minutes before the pork is due to be cooked, remove it from the oven and increase the heat to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7.
- Transfer the pork, skin-side up, to a clean ovenproof dish and, when the oven is hot, return the pork to the oven for about 15 minutes to crisp up the crackling.
- Remove from the oven and let rest. Pour off any excess fat from the original roasting pan and add the wine and 175 ml/3/4 cup water. Heat gently on the top of the stove, working off any sticky burnt-on bits from the edges of the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the juices through a sieve/strainer and keep them warm.
- Carve the pork into thick slices. Put a few slices on each of eight warmed plates and pour some of the pan juices over the top.
- You could serve this with sautéed potatoes and salad.
What to drink
If you want to stick to white, a quality Pinot Grigio or Italian Soave would be perfect with this dish. Or try a Chianti Classico.
Recipes are from Wine Lover’s Kitchen by Fiona Beckett, with photography by Mowie Kay. Published by Ryland Peters & Small and available from all good booksellers.