- 2tsp fennel seeds
- 1tsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1.6kg (3½lb) British free-range pork loin, boned, rolled and the skin scored (ask your butcher to do this)
- 3tbsp sherry vinegar
for the roasted roots
- 1.5kg (3lb 6oz) mixed root veg (we used celeriac, carrots and parsnips), peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 2tbsp olive oil
for the apricot sauce
- 35g (1¼oz) butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 250g (9oz) dried apricots, chopped
- 200ml (7fl oz) Marsala or Madeira
- 250ml (9fl oz) hot chicken stock
Heat the oven to 220 C, 200 C fan, 425 F, gas 7. Mix the fennel, chilli and garlic with seasoning; rub over the pork, but not the skin. Pat the skin dry and season well.
Line a roasting tin with foil and place the pork into it, covering the ends of the loin with foil. Roast for 25 minutes, turn the oven down to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4 and roast for a further hour. Ten minutes into this time, put the veg into another tin, drizzle with the oil, season and place on a lower shelf in the oven. Twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time, pour the vinegar under the pork and return to the oven.
For the apricot sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan. Cook the onion on low for about 5 minutes, add the apricots to the pan, cook for a couple of minutes, turn up the heat and add the Marsala. Bubble for a couple of minutes, then add the stock and cook for a further 5 minutes. Blend until the sauce is thick and slightly chunky. Season.
When the pork is cooked, the crackling crispy and the roots caramelised, turn off the oven and remove the pork, but keep the veg in. Rest the pork for 10 minutes, carve then serve with the veg and sauce.
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