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Pork - Roast in the style of Porchetta

A delicious way of slow-roasting pork. The style is probably the closest you will be able to come to cooking 'Tuscan Porchetta' at home, unless you have the wherewithal to roast a whole suckling pig.


For 8 generous helpings:

- A shoulder of pork of about 3kg (6lb 12oz), boned by your butcher, rolled and tied - ask your butcher to score the rind as closely together as he can, to make cracking

- 2 level tablespoons (30ml) Fennel seeds

- 6 big cloves of Garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

- 1 tablespoon (15ml) coarse Sea Salt

- 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns

- 1 teaspoon crushed chilis

- the juice of 2 small or one big lemon

- 2 tablespoons (30ml) Olive Oil

- 180ml (6 fl oz) Dry White Wine

Equipment needed: A large roasting tray, with a rack


- Preheat the oven to 230º/450º/Gas mark 8.

- Grind the fennel seeds, sea salt, peppercorns and chilis together with a pestle

- and mortar. Add the garlic cloves and pound into a rough paste.

- Using your hands, smother the paste over the pork, working it into the slits between the fat.

- Place the pork on a rack in the roasting tin.

- Cook, skin-side-up, for half an hour, then remove from the oven and turn the heat right down to 120ºC/250º/Gas mark ½.

- Turn the joint over, and pour half the lemon juice and the olive oil over it.

- Return it to the oven and cook for 7 hours - it should sound as though it's gently sizzling.

- Every two hours, remove the meat from the oven, and baste it with the juices in the bottom of the pan.

- After six hours, remove any excess fat from the tray and squeeze the remaining lemon juice of the meat.

- After seven hours reset the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas Mark 7.

- Transfer the meat, skin side up, to a clean, ovenproof dish and, when the oven is hot, put it back to crisp up the crackling for 20 minutes.

- Remove it from the oven and leave it to rest.

- Pour off any excess fat from the original roasting tray and add the white wine and 180ml (6 fl oz) water.

- Heat gently, on top of the cooker, scratching off any sticky residue, and simmer for 10 minutes.

- Strain, and keep warm.

- Carve the roast into thick slices, serving each helping with a little juice.

The dish is excellent as part of a buffet, and any leftovers make good sandwich fillers.

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