Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fennel Rosemary Pork Roast

This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray and it is so yummy! She made it into sandwiches but I love it as a main course with the roasted fennel and onions. Ask your butcher or meat counter man to butterfly a 3-4 pound pork shoulder (aka pork butt roast). I pounded my meat out to about an inch and half thick. I bet if you ask REALLY nicely they will do that for you as well. The meat shrinks up quite a bit so get more than you think you'll need. Even if you get too much, the leftovers are delicious!

3-4 lb pork shoulder, butterflied and pounded out to an inch and half
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 whole head of garlic, crushed and minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, quartered
1 fresh fennel bulb, cored and quartered
1 cup white wine such as Pinto Grigio
In a roasting pan or large baking dish place the onions and fennel bulb, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Cut three long (about 10 inches) strings of butcher's twine to tie the pork up. Lay the strings horizontally a few inches apart. Lay the pork on top so it's easier to tie once filled. Season the pork with plenty of the salt and pepper. Don't be shy! Drizzle a little olive oil and then pat on the fennel, rosemary and garlic. Roll the pork up with the string, cutting any excess string off. Place the pork on top of the onions and fennel with the fat side up. Always put a fatty meat like this fat side up. It allows all the flavor from the fat to seep into the meat. Drizzle a little bit more olive oil on the pork and season the outside with salt and pepper.

Place in a 375 oven for an hour and then take out the pan and douse with wine. Return pan back to the oven for another hour or hour and half until pork is tender. The internal temperate should be at 145º*. Let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes, tented with foil to keep warm. Slice off string and carve and serve with onions and fennel.

*If you think this is too rare, there are new meat regulations on pork. It will be totally fine and not pink. Ground pork (like most ground meats) should be cooked all the way through, but with a whole cut of meat like this, 145º will be totally fine. The meat keeps cooking while it rests too so don't be worried.

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