Pork with fennel, capers and sage

Serves 4-6

1-11/2kg/2-3lb shoulder of pork

Sea-salt and black pepper

2 tbsp mild-tasting olive oil

11/2tbsp capers, very well rinsed and roughly chopped

1 tsp lemon zest

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 small bunch sage

1 small bunch rosemary

1 tsp fennel seeds

2 fennel bulbs, peeled and chopped into quarters

4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

80ml/3oz verjuice or dry white wine

250ml/8fl oz pork or chicken stock, or water

A splash of vermouth (dry)

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Trim the pork of all but a thin layer of fat. Make a few incisions with a knife to allow flavour to permeate the flesh. Season all over.

Combine the capers, lemon zest, garlic, sage and rosemary with the fennel seeds. Spread the mixture all over the surface of the pork and into the incisions.

Toss the fennel and carrots in one tablespoon of oil. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet (you'll need one with a lid) over a medium heat and pour in the remaining tablespoon of oil. Place the pork in the pan; it should sizzle. Brown gently but well, and surround it with the vegetables.

Add the verjuice and stock, put the lid on, place in the oven and cook for three-quarters-of-an-hour. Remove and stir, then return to the oven for an hour-and-a-half.

Take out the meat and vegetables, set aside and keep warm. Return the pan juices to the stove and place over a high heat, skimming off any fat. Boil and add the vermouth, scraping the caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Slice the pork, and serve with the vegetables and a spoonful of the rich pan juices.

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