• 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1.3kg pork loin (ask your butcher for a piece from the rib end as this will have more fat), bone out, skin on and scored (see tip below)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 red onions, 1 finely chopped, 3 cut into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g crusty bread, torn into small chunks
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • small bunch of thyme
  • 250g chorizo-style sausages, about 4 sausages (not the cured kind)
  • 2 red peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 50ml dry sherry
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained
  • small bunch of parsley, chopped


  • STEP 1

    Pound the fennel with 1 tbsp sea salt in a pestle and mortar to a fine dust. To butterfly the pork, lay on a chopping board skin-side down. Using a sharp knife, cut between the fatty layer just beneath the skin and the loin, rolling the meat to the side but leaving the meat and fat/skin connected at one end. Where you have a hinge, cut another line into the side of the thickest part of the meat, halfway down. Keep cutting in that direction to the other end of the loin, but not all the way through. Open the meat out. Rub in the fennel and salt, then set aside while you make the stuffing. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  • STEP 2

    Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the finely chopped onion and cook over a low-medium heat until softened, about 8 mins. Stir through the garlic, cook for another minute, tip into a bowl, then leave to cool.

  • STEP 3

    Tip the bread into a roasting tin. Bake for 10 mins, or until crisp and golden, then leave to cool. Turn the oven up to 240C/220C fan/gas 9.

  • STEP 4

    Crush any large chunks of bread to crumbs in your hands and add to the bowl of garlic and onion, along with the lemon zest. Pick the leaves from half the thyme sprigs and add these too, followed by the sausagemeat, squeezing it out from the skins. Scrunch everything together well using your hands.

  • STEP 5

    Pat the pork meat and skin dry with kitchen paper. Spread the stuffing evenly over the opened fleshy part of the pork, then roll the meat around the stuffing. Lay four-five pieces of string on a board, place the rolled-up meat on top, wrap the skin around the meat, then securely tie the string around the whole loin to make a neat cylinder. Rub the remaining oil over the exposed meat and salt into the skin.

  • STEP 6

    Put the loin in a large roasting tin and roast for 20 mins. Lower the heat to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue cooking for 1 hr.

  • STEP 7

    Remove the tin from the oven. If there is a lot of fat in the tin, carefully pour some away so you’re left with a thin coating on the base of the tin. Tip the onion wedges, peppers and remaining thyme sprigs around the pork, then add the sherry, stock cube and paprika. Season and mix everything together, then return to the oven for 30 mins.

  • STEP 8

    Stir the beans into the veg in the roasting tin and squeeze over some lemon juice. If the beans look dry, add a splash of water. Return to the oven for another 10 mins.

  • STEP 9

    Remove the tin from the oven. Lift the pork onto a baking tray and cover the beans to keep them warm. Turn the oven up to 240C/220C fan/gas 9 and roast the pork for a final 10-15 mins to help the skin crackle. If you don’t see bubbles popping on the surface, try grilling it for a few minutes, but keep a close eye on the crackling as it will burn easily. If you have a meat thermometer, the temperature should read 75C. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10-15 mins.

  • STEP 10

    Reheat the beans gently on the hob, then transfer to a large platter. Scatter with parsley. Slice the pork thickly and lay on top of the beans with shards of crackling.

Recipe tips

Scoring the skin

Pork skin can be very tough, but piercing it will help the heat to penetrate, resulting in crispy crackling. The best way to score it is with a sharp knife, making cuts over the entire surface area of the skin in long lines, about 1cm apart.

Change up the flavours

If you fancy a more classic stuffing, use a well-seasoned pork sausage such as a cumberland in place of the chorizo, leave out the garlic and add some chopped apple, sage or rosemary.


You can freeze any leftovers. To reheat, defrost completely in the fridge, then warm through in the oven until piping hot.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2022

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