When is your favourite time of the week to cook? I love Sunday afternoons. It's when I can linger and shower extra love over our evenings meal. It doesn't have to be the most technical meal, just something which requires a bit of extra TLC. Just like this Italian roast pork.
A recent trip to our local markets spurred on a recipe idea, perfect for such a Sunday afternoon. With a basket full of baby fennel, lemons, dutch carrots, potatoes and free range pork, it was my Italian roast pork with a baby fennel salad that would be on the dinner table that night.
This would make a fab dinner party main meal or a build it into an Italian inspired long table lunch.
Italian Roast Pork
Pork Scotch/Butt 1kg
Red Wine 1/2 cup (light, fruity red)
Chicken Stock 1 cup
Dried Fennel Seeds 1 TB
Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
Sea Salt 1 tsp
Garlic Cloves 6
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp + extra for cooking
Preheat oven to 130 degrees celsius.
Grind the fennel seeds, peppercorns, salt & pepper in a mortar & pestle. Add the garlic cloves and 1 tsp olive oil and smoosh into a paste.
Drizzle some olive oil in a frypan over a medium-high heat & brown all sides of the pork. Remove pork and place in a roasting pan whilst you deglaze the frypan.
Pour the red wine into the frypan which the pork was browned in, let it simmer for a 1 min over a medium-high heat. Using a spoon or spatula, scrape any browned pieces of pork from the pan, stirring into the wine. Add the chicken stock and set aside.
Rub the fennel paste on top of the pork butt, creating a top crust. Pour the wine/chicken stock liquid into the roasting pan around the pork. Using a couple of pieces of foil, cover the roasting pan.
Place the roasting pan on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 3 - 3.5hrs. (Check the pork midway - scoop a couple of spoonfuls of liquid over the sides of the pork, check liquid levels in pan and add a dash of water or additional chicken stock if really low).
Remove from oven and let it rest for at least 20-30 mins before serving.
Serve with roasted root vegetables and an Italian Baby Fennel Salad (recipe below).
Italian Baby Fennel Salad
Baby Fennel Bulb 1 trimmed, finely sliced (reserve 1 TB fennel fronds)
Lemon 1/2, juiced
Capers 1 TB
Pine Nuts 1 TB, toasted
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 TB
Toss the fennel, capers, lemon juice and olive oil together in a mixing bowl until everything is well coated. Season to taste.
Place onto a serving plate and top with toasted pine nuts and fennel fronds.
What's your ideal Sunday supper? Share your thoughts below: