- 3 medium fresh fennel bulbs with fronds attached, all fronds trimmed and reserved, each bulb cut through root end into 8 wedges
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 1 4- to 4 1/3-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Chop enough reserved fennel fronds to measure 1 cup; set aside remaining fronds for garnish. Place chopped fronds in blender. Add olive oil, orange juice, orange peel, fennel seeds, and crushed red pepper; blend to paste, scraping down sides of jar occasionally. Sprinkle pork roast on all sides with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Spread fennel paste on all sides of pork to coat. Place pork on plate; chill uncovered overnight.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange pork, fat side up, in large roasting pan. Cover pan with foil. Roast pork 1 hour. Add broth to pan. Arrange potatoes and fennel wedges around pork. Cover pan again and roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of pork registers 190°F to 200°F, about 2 1/2 hours longer.
Using slotted spoon, transfer fennel wedges to processor; blend to almost smooth puree. Transfer potatoes to large microwave-safe bowl; mash until smooth. Mix fennel puree and extra-virgin olive oil into potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Return pork to oven. Roast until top browns, about 20 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, rewarm vegetable puree in microwave; transfer puree to serving bowl. Rewarm pan juices; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Slice pork and arrange on platter. Spoon some pan juices over. Garnish platter with fennel fronds. Serve pork with puree, passing pan juices.
Spoon pan juices from roasting pan into small saucepan. Spoon off fat and reserve.
What to Drink
With the pork, pour a Sangiovese. Try the smooth, medium-bodied Tenuta di Sesta 2007 Rosso di Montalcino (Italy, $17). The wine's fruit and mineral flavors can stand up to the meat.