If you were lucky enough to secure a copy of local Orange Author Sophie Hansen’s first book Local Is Lovely, published in 2014 hold onto it! There’s lots of seasonal favourites in there, although sadly it is now out of print.
The Twelve-hour pork with apples and cider recipe on page 126 is particularly good and I’ve adapted it to enjoy to my personal taste. I’ve added fennel seeds and fennel bulbs because I love this vegetable and think it caramelises well. I also like to keep my apples whole, cored and peeled but not sliced.
Trust me, this dish is a crowd pleaser and convenient enough to prepare if you are planning a getaway somewhere too; like a weekend away in the snow! It is also rich enough to enjoy all the way through Autumn and Winter.
Prep: 25 minutes and Cooking Time: 12 Hours
3 kg boned pork shoulder (ask your Butcher to score the pork skin)
3 tsp sea salt
10 small garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1-2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
4 large or 6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored whole.
2 leeks, washed and sliced 1cm thick (white part only)
2 fennel bulbs (cut into half and remove the heart from centre), cut again into quarter chunks.
750 ml dry apple cider
*If you are like me and get up at 5:30am to preheat the oven, you can pre-prepare the pork with rub uncovered in the fridge the night before. I preheat the oven to 250 C and place pork from fridge (without resting to room temp) in for 20 minutes at this temp and then turn down to 100 C.
*If you do not have a large lidded casserole dish, use a large roasting dish with two sheets of foil as a lid which works well.
*If you love crackling (and my boys do), remove the pork at end to rest and carefully cut away the pork crackling skin and place under a grill for a few minutes to finish it all the way through while resting the pork. Best crackling and works a treat!
I like serving this with steamed greens and baby new potatoes to balance this rich dish. However crunchy roast potatoes and salad is a wonderful side too.
Wine pair: Swinging Bridge wines; Mrs Payten Chardonnay and Hill Park Pinot Noir