"With any animal you eat, make sure it has had a natural diet," says Evans. "Never is this more important than when it comes to pigs. Search out pasture-reared wherever possible, as not only are they packed with more flavour, but you'll be doing your health a great favour. We like to eat pork often in our family and I find the sweetness of the flesh works perfectly when paired with some bitterness, as in this recipe with radicchio."
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 pork rack (about 1.2kg with 5-6 ribs)
- 2 tbsp melted fat (see note)
- 80 ml maple syrup
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
- 1 large radicchio, quartered
- 1 apple (any variety), skin on, halved top to bottom
- 1Preheat the oven to 230C. Dry-roast fennel seeds over high heat until fragrant and toasted (30-40 seconds). Coarsely crush with a mortar and pestle, then mix with 2 tsp sea salt flakes. Set aside.
- 2Place pork on a wire rack placed over a sink, then gently pour 250ml boiling water over skin and pat dry with paper towels. Score the skin along the rib lines with a sharp knife and place pork rack in a lightly greased roasting dish. Drizzle skin with melted fat and rub all over with fennel salt, covering skin and the meat evenly, then roast pork until skin starts to crackle (30 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, combine maple syrup, lemon juice, garlic and half the chilli flakes in a bowl. Combine fennel, radicchio and apple in a large bowl, add maple syrup mixture, toss to combine and season to taste.
- 4Once the pork starts to crackle, reduce oven to 180C and roast pork for a further 20 minutes, then remove half the drippings from the base of the pan, scatter fennel mixture around pork and roast until meat is cooked medium to well done and juices run clear when pierced with a skewer (20 minutes). Transfer pork to a warm tray to rest (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, toss remaining chilli flakes with fennel mixture and return to oven to roast until fennel is tender (15-20 minutes).
- 5To serve, slice pork rack into portions, coarsely chop apple and return to fennel mixture, toss to combine and serve with pork.