There are many different recipes out there and I won’t claim that this recipe from Waitrose is the best but it is certainly one of the easiest to make and absolutely delicious to have as a cold cut in sandwiches or with a salad, and wicked hot in a baguette.
It can be prepared in advance and frozen until needed and once it’s cooked the left overs can be frozen again ready to heat up for a quick meal.
2kg pork shoulder, derinded, boned and butterflied
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 large sprigs rosemary, chopped
4 fresh bay leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
8 black peppercorns, crushed
Lay the pork on a chopping board and cover with clingfilm. Using a rolling pin or meat mallet, pound the meat to an even, 3cm thickness.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan and cook the onion for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add half the garlic and fennel seeds, all the rosemary and bay, half the cloves, and the salt and pepper. Cook for a minute, then spread on a plate to cool.
Spread the cooled mixture over the pork, rubbing it in well, then roll up the pork tightly and secure at regular intervals with string.
Mix the remaining garlic, fennel and cloves with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil. Rub this over the pork. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 24 hours. Take it out a good 40 minutes before you start cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180°C / gas mark 4. Put the pork in a roasting tin and cook for 3-4 hours. Check the meat after 3 hours and, if it is blackening too much, then tent it loosely with foil for the remaining time. Remove from the oven and leave the meat to cool before slicing.