- 1½ tsp fennel seeds
A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 300g shallots
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- about 1.8kg pork loin, skin removed and fat well-scored (cut from the thicker end of the joint)
- 1 small celeriac, peeled, quartered and cut into chunks
The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like…
- 2 eating apples, such as braeburns or coxs, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
- 150ml white wine
- 250ml chicken or pork stock
- 1 tbsp honey
Honey is made by bees from the nectar they collect from flowers. Viscous and fragrant, it's…
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Lightly crush the fennel seeds with the leaves from the thyme and the garlic in a pestle and mortar. Add 1 tbsp oil and plenty of salt and pepper, then bash to a rough paste. Rub all over the pork, then cover and chill for up to 24 hrs, if you have time (2 hrs if not).
Set your slow cooker to a low heat. Pour a kettleful of boiling water over the shallots, then set aside for 2 mins until cool enough to handle – this will make them easier to peel. Cut off the root and remove the papery skins. Heat the remaining oil in a large casserole or frying pan large enough to fit the pork. Brown the shallots for a few mins then tip into the slow cooker. Add the celeriac and apples, season well and give them a mix.
Brown the pork in the same pan, on all sides, not forgetting the ends. Sit on top of the veg and apples, fat-side up, nestling the joint in a little so you can fit the lid on. Pour the wine into the frying pan and bubble for a minute, scraping the bottom of the pan to pick up any tasty bits. Pour in the stock, honey and mustard, bubble for another min, then pour over the pork. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 5-6 hrs (depending on slow cooker size), turning the pork and stirring the veg halfway through cooking.
Remove the pork, wrap in foil and leave to rest for 10 mins before carving to serve alongside the veg with roast potatoes and greens.
Try a meat thermometerThe temperature of slow cookers can vary vastly so it’s worth investing in a meat thermometer to check if your meat is cooked. Push the probe right into the centre of the joint to check – it should read 65C once cooked (this will rise slightly as it rests).
Try a high setting for a shorter timeOn a high setting the pork should take 3 hrs. Smaller slow cookers will cook faster than larger one.
Make cracklingSave the pork skin to make crackling to serve alongside.