I have a recipe that I want to make this weekend, Braised Pork Roast with Five-Spice Rub and Apple/Onion Compote. Fall, football, the World Series... Perfect for a braise! The caveat is that my husband does not care for Five-Spice Powder. You are supposed to rub it all over the roast. I know the ingredients and have also seen some sites that give suggest supstitutions. I don't like the thought of using chili, or cinnamon, or nutmeg. I think that cinnamon and nutmeg would work if they were sprinkled on the apples and onions, but on the roast??? Any idea of what you would use, keeping in mind that it is pork cooking with apples, onion, and apple cider. Thanks!

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bella S. October 28, 2010
Thanks Sadassa_Ulna. I think that I will do a combination of things. Haven't decided what for sure. It will probably be a "game-time decision", but that's not unusual around here. I tried to figure out where I got this recipe to begin with. I think this is it.

Sadassa_Ulna October 28, 2010
Sage would definitely work; I just googled those spices and found this: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/roast-leg-of-pork-with-fresh-herbs-and-fennel-seeds. I think you are onto something . . .
bella S. October 28, 2010
The recipe is really simple. Pork butt, the 5-spice powder, garlic, salt& pepper, olive oil, and then the onions, apples, and apple cider. I like the idea of an apple/onion sauce flavored wtih the garlic studded pork. It's just the 5-spice powder being rubbed in that was throwing me off. We do like fennel, so that can't be the problem. I'm now thinking that I might make a paste like I do for porcetta. Perhaps crushed fennel seed, garlic, maybe some sage, perhaps some coriander seeds... hmmmm. How does that sound?
Sadassa_Ulna October 28, 2010
The fennel and the anise contribute a licorice kind of taste; those could also be the culprit. Depending on the other ingredients, pork with apples and onions could go with just about anything. Maybe find another recipe with spices/flavorings you and he like and use those proportions . . . what are the other ingredients?
Michael H. October 28, 2010
Do you have a sense of what component of 5 spice your husband objects to? Perhaps it's the Sichuan pepper, in which case you could just construct your own 4 spice out of cloves, cinnamon, star anise and fennel seed.
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