Braised Pork Shoulder with Fennel and Chorizo

, from Issue #30. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Braised Pork Shoulder with Fennel and Chorizo

The pork can be cooked the day before serving and it's perfect for a weekday meal. 

Serves: 6


1½ kilograms boneless pork shoulder, skin off
½ cup flour
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, sliced
pinch of saffron threads
2 cloves garlic, crushed
zest and juice 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
12 shallots or pickling onions, peeled with root end left on
1 large or 2 medium fennel bulbs cut into thick wedges, feathery tops reserved
½ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and tops trimmed

To serve
reserved fennel tops


Preheat the oven to 150˚C.

Cut the pork into large pieces, trimming off excess fat and sinew.

Put the flour in a shallow dish and season well with salt and pepper. Toss the pork in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large casserole dish or ovenproof sauté pan and brown the pork on all sides, taking care not to let the flour catch and burn.  Don’t rush this step as you want a good golden crust. Cook the pork in batches if necessary, adding more olive oil if needed.

Transfer the pork to a plate.

Add the chorizo, saffron, garlic, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, shallots and fennel to the pan. Season and cook for 10 minutes until lightly browned.

Add the wine and bubble up for 2 minutes. Add the stock and return the pork with any resting juices to the pan and turn to combine. Season. Place a piece of scrunched up baking paper on top of the meat and cover tightly with a lid. Braise for 1 hour, turning the meat once during cooking. Add the baby carrots, cover and braise for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is very tender.

To serve: Transfer the pork to a large serving dish and scatter with the reserved fennel fronds. Serve with cooked green beans, wilted greens such as silverbeet or spinach, and a crisp green salad.

The pork can be cooked the day before serving. Cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. Use a teaspoon to scrape off the fat that has set on the top of the dish. Add the baby carrots at this point and reheat, covered, in a 180˚C oven until hot and bubbling. This can take up to 1 hour. Take care when serving as the vegetables will be very tender.

Menu: Serve this with Baked Goat's Cheese with Dry Roasted Olives to start, and Orange and Semolina Syrup Cake with Fresh Orange and Date Salad.