Bar H: Suckling pig with roast fennel and warrigal greens
At A Glance
Serves 8 people
30 min preparation 2 hrs cooking (plus drying, resting)
suckling pig (about 7kg; see note)
40 gm (1/3 cup)
ground fennel seeds
ground Sichuan pepper, plus extra for seasoning
sea salt flakes
large fennel bulbs, quartered
40 gm (8cm piece)
ginger, thinly sliced
garlic cloves, crushed
60 ml (¼ cup)
extra-virgin olive oil
550 gm (4 bunches)
warrigal greens, leaves picked (see note)
Cherry tomato, chilli and Chinese black vinegar dressing
long red chillies halved lengthways, seeds removed, thinly sliced
30 gm (6 cm piece)
ginger, finely diced
Chinese black vinegar
light soy sauce
75 gm (1/3 cup)
250 gm (1 punnet)
cherry tomatoes, halved, seeds removed
Place pork uncovered in refrigerator for skin to dry (overnight). Pat dry inside and out with absorbent paper and refrigerate until required.
Preheat oven to 220C. Combine ground fennel, Sichuan pepper, sea salt and oil in a bowl, rub all over pork, score skin, place in a large roasting pan and roast until starting to brown (30 minutes). Reduce oven to 190C and cook until lightly browned (30 minutes).
Combine fennel pieces, shallot, ginger, garlic, star anise and extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl, toss to combine, season to taste, arrange around pork and roast until pork is cooked through and tender (1-1½ hours). Remove pork from roasting pan and place on a large oven tray to rest, then place pan with fennel on stovetop over medium heat, add warrigal greens, stir gently until greens wilt (1 minute), season with Sichuan pepper and keep warm.
Meanwhile, for cherry tomato, chilli and Chinese black vinegar dressing, pound chilli and ginger to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle, add vinegar, soy sauce and sugar and stir to combine, add tomatoes, crush lightly and stir to combine.
Place pork on serving platter and serve hot with roast vegetables and cherry tomato, chilli and Chinese black vinegar dressing.
Note A 7kg suckling pig, which will fit into most domestic ovens, will need to be ordered ahead from a good butcher. An 8kg pig can be used instead, but you’ll need to remove the head to fit it into the oven and extend the cooking time to 2½ hours. Warrigal greens are peppery, slightly bitter wild greens available from select greengrocers and ilovewarrigalgreens.com.au. If they’re unavailable, substitute spinach.
This recipe is from the December 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.