Rosemary and Fennel Seed Roast Leg of Pork with Apple Shallot Sauce

  • Rosemary and Fennel Seed Roast Leg of Pork with Apple Shallot Sauce

Rosemary and Fennel Seed Roast Leg of Pork with Apple Shallot Sauce


(serves 15-20)

With a leg of pork or ham it is fair to say that around two thirds of the total weight is meat. Cold roast pork is delicious in sandwiches or salads but if you feel that you do not have the crowd to support a whole roast leg ask the butcher for half a leg.

6kg-6.5kg leg of pork (skin on)
Rosemary and Fennel Paste
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock liquid
440ml (1 + 3/4 cups) white wine
Apple Shallot Sauce

Using a sharp knife score pork skin by making 1cm deep cuts at 2cm intervals.

Make deep pockets in pork by inserting paring knife into every second score to a 5cm depth and repeat until there are three rows of pockets on top side of pork and randomly positioned pockets on underside.

Place Rosemary and Fennel Paste into a squeeze bottle and squeeze into pockets. Rub leftover paste on top of skin and underside of pork.

To allow rosemary and fennel flavours to permeate the pork place pork into a large roasting pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Two hours before cooking remove pork from refrigerator to take the chill off it.

Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Uncover pork. Sprinkle with salt. Add stock and wine to pan. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 180ºC and roast pork a further 2 to 2 + 1/2 hours.

Turn oven up to 200ºC and cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until skin should is crisp and a deep, nutty brown.

To test if pork is cooked, insert a skewer or knife into the thickest part of leg and if juices run clear when skewer is removed, it indicates the meat is cooked. Alternatively and more reliably place a thermometer in thickest part of pork checking to see if the temperature has reached 76°C. {If not cooked return to oven.}

Remove from oven, cover with several sheets of aluminium foil and rest pork for 30-45 minutes away from heat.

Remove crackling with scissors and cut into pieces. Carve pork and serve with warmed Apple Shallot Sauce and crackling.

Rosemary and Fennel Seed Paste

Fennel is a very complimentary flavour with pork, but it also helps the digestion of a rich meat such roast pork

8 cloves garlic
2 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp flaky sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
65ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

Into a food processor fitted with a metal blade or a mortar with pestle place garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, pepper and oil. Process or pound to a runny paste.

Store in refrigerator for up to two days.

Apple Shallot Sauce

(serves 8)

Use an apple such as Braeburn which holds its shape when cooked. Apple syrup, an ingredient in this recipe, and available at supermarkets, has uses beyond this recipe. It is cost effective, made in New Zealand and a lively flavoured substitute for maple syrup.

350g (2) apples (peeled, cored and cut into 12 wedges)
145g (16) tiny shallots (peeled) (or wedges of peeled onions if you prefer)
40g (8) garlic cloves (peeled, halved and shoot removed)
750ml (1 bottle) sauvignon blanc
250ml (1 cup) tart apple syrup
5ml (1 tsp) balsamic vinegar
12g-24g (1-2 tbsp) brown sugar

In a medium-size pot place apples, shallots, garlic, sauvignon blanc and apple syrup.

Bring pot to boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat and lightly boil for 40-45 minutes until liquid is syrupy and apples, shallots and garlic are soft.

Add balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat and add brown sugar to taste.

Cool and store in refrigerator for up to four days and reheat to serve.