Roast Pork with Pear and Star Anise

This recipe for a succulent and juicy pork roast is great if you a feeding a heap of people. Start it nice and early so that it’s ready at least 30 minutes before dinner time. Then you can just kick back and enjoy a glass of wine before your guests arrive.

Over the years, pork has suffered a reputation as a high fat – high cholesterol meat. But the truth is, lean pork cuts (such as the tenderloin) is as healthy as chicken (in the fat stakes). When trimmed of fat, pork is both lean and nutrient dense. In fact, it contains essential vitamins such as B12, B6, thiamin, niacin, as well as minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium.

For this recipe, I have chosen to use the scotch fillet. It is a relatively lean cut of pork, which produces a tender and juicy roast without too much fat. As always, we aim to use meat which is ethically grown, and recommend using free range pork.

What you will need:

1.5kg pork scotch fillet

4 tbsp olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

1 stick celery, diced

3-4 unpeeled garlic cloves

2 packham pears, peeled and sliced

1 tsp juniper berries

2 pcs star anise

2 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp cognac or brandy

1 packham pear for garnish, cut into wedges.

Serves 8-10

How to prepare:

Preheat the oven to 220°C. A 1.5kg pork roast will take approximately 1.5 hours to cook in a fan forced oven, so set your timer at the beginning of the roasting period.

Place a large fry pan on high heat. Once it is hot,  add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sear the meat. Allow each side to brown for several minutes before turning.

 

Pile the onion, celery, pear, juniper berries, garlic and star anise into the middle of a roasting pan. Lay the meat on top and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Place in the preheated oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, combine the lemon juice, maple syrup and cognac.

After the initial 20 minutes of cooking time, turn the meat and baste with the cognac mixture. Lower the heat to 160°C.

After 20 minutes, repeat the basting process and add the pear wedges to the side of the pan. Continue to baste every 15 – 20 minutes.

At the end of the 1.5 hour roasting time, check to see if the roast is cooked by piercing it with a skewer in the thickest part of the meat. The roast is ready once the juices run clear.

Season liberally with salt and pepper and allow to rest for 15+ minutes before carving.

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