“While you were sleeping…”

 This Overnight Slow-roasted Pork from Cook with Jamie by Jamie Oliver requires un petit peu of prepping and beaucoups of roasting, so the best time to cook it is while you sleep! It’s the perfect way to prepare a big family meal for your holiday visitors without spending all day in the kitchen.

2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon sea or rock salt
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and roughly chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 bulb of garlic, cloves unpeeled and smashed
a bunch of fresh thyme
11-13 1/2 lb piece of pork shoulder on the bone, preferably free-range or organic, skin scored [it can be difficult to find this cut with skin, but look for the fattiest roast you can find]
olive oil
a 750 ml bottle of white wine
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock

Preheat your oven to maximum. Smash the fennel seeds with the salt in a pestle and mortar until fine. Put the roughly chopped vegetables, garlic and thyme sprigs into a large roasting pan. Pat the pork shoulder with olive oil and sit it on top of the vegetables. Now massage all of the smashed fennel seeds into the skin of the pork, making sure you push them right into all of the scores to maximize the flavor. Put the pork into your preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until it’s beginning to color, then turn your oven down to 250 degrees F and cook the pork for 9 to 12 hours, until the meat is soft and sticky and you can pull it apart easily with a fork.

Tip all the wine into the roasting tray and let it cook for another hour to give you a perfect sauce…

[At this point, you can cool and refrigerate until lunch or dinner time, and then remove the pork to an oven-proof platter to go into a 250-degree oven to warm. The fat will have hardened on top of the pan liquid, and you can remove some or most of it easily.]

…then I mash up the veg in the pan using a potato masher. Add the stock to the roasting pan, put it on the heat and boil until you have a lovely, intensely flavored gravy (you can thicken it with a little sieved flour if you like but I prefer mine light).

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