Served with roasted apples instead of apple sauce, this makes a magnificent feast for family and friends. For perfect crackling, first score the rind right through to the edges, or get your butcher to do this for you. Serve with lightly cooked green beans.
1 pork forequarter, about 4kg
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 fennel bulbs
4 pink lady apples
Heat the oven to 230C. Wipe the pork clean. Use a Stanley knife to score the rind.
Mix the sea salt, fennel seeds and chilli together. Rub the rind with olive oil then the salt mixture and place in a lightly oiled pan.
Bake for 30 minutes then reduce heat to 140C and bake for four hours or until the pork is soft, turning the pan 180 degrees once or twice to avoid "hot spots".
Drain the juices from the pan and place it in the freezer to allow the fat to form on top.
Thickly slice the fennel across each bulb. Run a knife horizontally around the middle of each apple.
Place the fennel and apples around the pork and bake for a further hour until tender.
To finish, remove fennel and apples and keep warm. Increase the heat to 230C for 30 minutes or until the crackling is crisp.
Remove pan juices from the freezer, discard the fat on top, reheat and serve with pork, fennel and apples.