Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Roast Pork with Fennel Pollen

My pork roast was superb. In fact, I heard one of my guests was out foraging fennel off Mulholland Drive the next day so he to could make this dish.

The first step was to dry out the fennel and shake off the pollen. Instead of drying it out in a paper bag, I dried it on my indoor windowsill, which is a much faster process.

I invited extra friends over at the last minute and was worried I wouldn’t have enough pork so I ran down the hill and bought a pork loin to go along with the pork shoulder I had bought at Marin Sun Farms.

I also got a chance to use one of my favorite pieces of cooking equipment, my large Staub roasting pan. The Staub pot has a dimpled lid, which creates moisture, insuring that whatever you roast will be incredibly moist. It's a must have if you do any kind of roasting.

Here's the recipe.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the pork generously with the fennel pollen, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Lay fennel stems along the bottom of the pan and place the pork roasts on top. Cook for 3 hours at 350 degrees. 1 hour before the pork is finished add some fingerling potatoes. Remove from the oven, let rest for 15 minutes and then serve.

The pork was amazing, tender and moist and the flavor of the fennel pollen was quite interesting. It tasted like the essence of what fennel tastes like but had much more of a subtle and intense flavor. The fennel complimented the pork perfectly. The pork shoulder melted in your mouth and the pork loin believe it or not was not dry or overcooked. The loin was good as well but not as flavorful as the shoulder.

The Staub pot has so much to do with the success of this dish. Take it from me, I am a big believer that the right piece of equipment is worth the investment. This has been such a satisfying experience, foraging an ingredient and then actually cooking with it. This recipe is a keeper.


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