Foolproof and so dang good garlic-fennel pork roast. Try and get a roast with a decent amount of fat to flavor and tenderize the meat. You can't mess it up. If it's not coming apart when you pull at it with a few forks, just stick it back in the oven. You can cook this longer at lower heat (I've cooked it all day—8 hours at 250º) too. —Laurie
Test Kitchen Notes
The preparation for this dish could not be any simpler. The garlic, fennel, red pepper flake, and lemon semi-dry rub can be made and applied to the pork roast well before your oven heats. Then, go read a book, or take a walk. About 4.5 hours later a delicious roast is ready to be served. Please do watch out for the water in the pan. I needed to add 1 cup per hour. As an alternative, placing the rub in a food processor with some olive oil can help ensure the spices are equally and fully spread across the entire roast. It also helps it from drying out. A great dish that I will make again. —Michael Aviotti
Zest from 1 lemon (optional)
red pepper flakes
3 lb. boneless pork roast, shoulder, butt, with a fair amount of fat
Preheat oven to 300°F. Mince the garlic along with the fennel seeds, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to make a blend. Rub all over the roast and put any extra on top. Place on a sheet pan or similar shallow vessel, add about a 1/2 cup of water and roast for 4-5 hours, uncovered, until it comes apart with a fork. Check periodically and if the bottom of the pan seems dry, pour a little more water in.
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