Photo credit: G. Drakopoulos - Food Styling: T. Webb
- We need pork in bone, but remove the backbone to make serving easier. Tie with kitchen twine to hold together.
- Beat the fennel, onions and garlic in a food processor until they turn into a paste. Add the thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, fennel seeds and pepper. Process until they are combined and come together nicely into a paste.
- With a small, sharp knife, make shallow openings in the shape of a cross in the pork fat. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Rub the paste over the meat. It should be about 6 cm thick.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 180* C (350*F) Fan. Remove the meat about 20 minutes before cooking and allow it to reach room temperature. Transfer to a baking pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until the temperature at the thickest part of the meat reads 65* C (149*F) on the thermometer.
- Remove roast from oven. Cover loosely in aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes before removing the twine and slicing.
- Serve with compote. (See below).
For the compote
- Peel and remove the seeds from the apples and the quince. Cut into pieces about 3-5 cm thick.
- Melt the butter in a 25 cm pan over low heat. Sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter. Increase the heat to medium, Cook and stir for about 3 minutes until the sugar melts and caramelizes.
- Add the quince and apple pieces in batches. Cook until the fruit they brown just a little and the apples soften, about 10-12 minutes. The quince will continue to hold its shape. Add the apple cider and the lemon juice. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit but doesn’t evaporate completely.
- Sprinkle with the ginger and salt. Serve warm.