Rosemary & fennel slow-roasted pork shoulder with apple sauce

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Serves: 6-8 people


  • 2.5 kg rolled and boned pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Apple sauce, rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges, to serve


Step 1

Preheat oven to 240˚C/220˚C fan-forced

Step 2

Remove any netting (see tip) or string from pork and unroll. Place rind side up onto a board. Pat dry with paper towel. Using a sharp knife, score pork rind at 1-2cm intervals. Firmly re-roll pork and secure with kitchen string at 2cm intervals

Tip – it’s best to remove the netting from the pork as once cooked the netting can make it difficult to carve and keep the crackling intact.

Step 3

Combine rosemary, fennel seeds, sea salt and pepper in a mortar and pestle and pound to crush the mixture (see tip). Rub pork with oil then rub in the rosemary mixture

Tip – if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, place the fennel seed mixture in a small snap-lock bag and gently crush using a meat mallet or rolling pin

Step 4

Place pork onto a greased rack in a large baking pan. Pour water into the pan until 1/2 cm-deep (ensure the pork does not touch the water). Roast pork for 35-40 minutes or until crackling is golden and crisp

Step 5

Reduce oven heat to 160˚C/140˚C fan-forced and roast pork, topping the water if necessary, for a further 2 hours 15 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes until juices run clear. Remove from oven, cover pork loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Slice pork and serve with apple sauce, rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges

Step 6

Note: for extra crisp pork crackling, the day before you cook the pork, place it rind side up, uncovered on a rack in the fridge and leave it overnight. Stand for 20 minutes at room temperature and dry with paper towel before roasting