Making the perfect roast pork in our house tends to be an occasion with a triple dose of happiness. You’ve got anticipation; hot roast pork and then lovely leftovers. So – more of it please.
The anticipation is obvious. You’ve got this gorgeous roasting smell coming from the oven. Not just the meat but the herbs it has been slathered in. This really gets the taste buds going. You’re looking at the watch, trying to make time fly until it is done. And then when it comes out of the oven, in a cloud of steam as you wait for it to rest. Oh the joy.
Then there is tucking in to the delicious slices of juicy meat, served with golden roast potatoes or warm plantains, all slathered in gravy. Any one for seconds or thirds?
As you can see – it is a three-pronged big deal and I love every minute of it.
A word about how to cook the perfect roast pork…..
The best way to be sure that your pork is perfectly cooked is to check its temperature when roasting. The guideline is that the centre of the meat should get to 63C (145 F). Obviously, you need a fab thermometer to measure this. You then need to let it rest for a few minutes afterward before carving it up.
Nuff said – here is how to cook the perfect roast pork all slathered in fennel and garlic and with a golden crispy crackling.
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The Perfect Roast Pork with Fennel Seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- Roast potatoes
- Baked plantains
- Ideally you take the pork out of the fridge at least an hour before you're going to cook it (so your oven is not having to heat it from fridge temperature, but from room temperature). Sprinkle salt on the skin. When this causes beads of moisture to show, dab these off with a kitchen towel, and put some more salt on (this dries the skin, to make better crackling).
- Using a sharp knife score the rind of the pork (your butcher should be able to do this). Then scatter a final sprinkle of salt on the skin.
- Preheat the oven to the highest setting you have.
- Grind the fennel seeds, the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar. Smear this mixture over all the flesh sides of the pork.
- Make a couple of deep slits into the flesh of the pork and put some of the mixture in too - to get it to the middle.
- Transfer pork skin side up to a lightly oiled roasting tray and roast for about 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to fan assisted 140C / 160C / 325F / gas 3 and roast for 25 minutes per 500g, until the middle of the joint reads 63C (145 F) with your thermometer.
- Take the meat out (and this bit is critical - even if you are hungry, you MUST do this) and rest it for at least 15 minutes.
- Serve sliced with roast potatoes, plantains and gravy.