Crown Roast of Pork with Fennel and Lemon
- 1 Â½ teaspoons fennel seeds
- Rosemary leaves from 2 bushy sprigs
- 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- Â¼ cup sage leaves and tender sprigs
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon fennel pollen (optional)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 pinch coarse kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 8- to 9-pound crown roast of pork (10 to 12 ribs)
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
In small skillet, toast fennel seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Place toasted fennel seeds, rosemary, garlic, sage, lemon zest, fennel pollen (if using) and pinch of salt in blender. Run blender briefly to chop everything up, then add olive oil, and blend until mixture becomes a paste, scraping down sides occasionally with a rubber spatula.
Wipe pork with paper towels, then season evenly with remaining tablespoon salt and the pepper. Smear herb paste all over meat, making sure to coat the middle and the crevices on the sides of the chops. Let marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or longer in refrigerator. (Overnight is ideal.) If youâ€™ve chilled the meat, bring to room temperature for at least an hour before roasting.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place roast upside down (bones down) in large roasting pan. (You can use a rack to help steady it if you like.) Roast for 20 minutes, then turn heat down to 350 and continue roasting until meat registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer. Let rest 10 minutes before carving.