"This dish is so simple, yet served on the sprigs, it's an experience in itself," says Choy. "Most Italians gorge themselves on antipasto and pasta, so the secondi is often just a little piece of meat, char-grilled over vine cuttings or the offcuts of the bay hedge. We do ours here with pork neck (such an underrated cut of meat), anchovy, rosemary and bay - a combination of the fruits of the garden, the farm and the sea."
- 16 thick rosemary stems (see note)
- 1.6 kg pork neck, diced into 4cm-5cm cubes
- 3 baby fennel bulbs, cut into wedges
- 32 fresh bay leaves
- For drizzling: olive oil
- 2 tbsp rosemary (reserved from rosemary skewers)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
- 10 anchovy fillets
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil
- 1Strip rosemary off stems (reserve for sauce; see note) leaving leaves at the tips. Sharpen the other end of each to a point with a knife. Set skewers aside.
- 2For anchovy sauce, finely chop 2 tbsp reserved rosemary, place in a mortar with 1 tbsp lemon juice and pound to a coarse paste. Add garlic and anchovies and continue to pound to a thick smooth paste, then gradually add olive oil and remaining lemon juice and set aside for flavours to meld (1 hour).
- 3Blanch fennel in salted boiling water (3 minutes). Refresh in iced water and drain.
- 4Heat a barbecue or char-grill pan over high heat. Skewer pork, fennel and bay leaves onto the rosemary branches, alternating as you go, then season to taste, drizzle with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until golden brown and pork is cooked medium (3-5 minutes each side). Transfer to a tray to rest (5 minutes), then serve with anchovy sauce spooned on top.
Note Use woody stems from an older rosemary bush so they're sturdy enough. You can dry leftover rosemary leaves in a low oven and they will keep in an airtight container for a month.
Drink Suggestion: Sagra Sangiovese in Purezza. 2014, Geographe, WA. Drink suggestion by Nigel Ward
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