You need

approximately 300g of deboned pork shoulder per person

It must have the skin on to form crackling

If the butchery has rolled it and placed it in a net, remove the net and flatten the shoulder

If you have time place it on a flat tray, skin side up in the fridge, no covering, so that the skin can firm up and dry


Salt and fennel marry well with pork!

5ml flaked salt

2 onions coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic crushed

20ml beef stock powder

5ml coarsely ground black pepper

10ml fennel seeds lightly bruised (I use a pestle & mortar)

500ml good quality stock or white wine, or a mix of the two (plus extra to top up)


Stems and leaves from 2-3 fennel bulbs (use the bulbs in Fennel & Onion Bake)


2-3 Granny Smith Apples, skin on, cored, cut into 6-8 wedges


3-4 pears, skin on, cored, cut into 6-8 wedges


8-10 apricots, stone removed and halved



To prepare

Preheat oven to 220°C

Dry and score the skin. I like strips about 6-10mm wide.

Score the fat to form crackling strips

Turn the meat over and sprinkle the meaty side with stock powder, garlic and fennel seeds. I like to lightly rub this mix into the meat.

Place fennel and / or fruit in a roasting tray.

Add the meat, skin side up

Add the liquid, being careful not to wet the skin. Wet skin will not crackle.

Roast open for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and roast for further 40 minutes, ensuring that there is always about 5-10mm liquid in the pan.

Uncover and put the grill on to crisp the crackling, checking that you do not burn it.

Remove the meat to a carving board.

Remove the fennel fronds, stir the remaining liquid. The onions and/or fruit will mix with the juices to form a gravy. I do not like thickened gravies, but if you do, you may use this to make your usual gravy.