on Venezuelan Black: marinated roast pork

June 19, 2008

As I’ve mentioned before, we eat a lot more pork now that we’re living in East Anglia. Sometimes the best part of a roast pork dinner is the crackling. Yes, you read that correctly, sometimes the crackling is even better than the roast potatoes! We’re very lucky because the cuts we buy from our local farm shop yield the most delicious crackling. I didn’t think we could make it any better, but press some crushed fennel seeds deep into the fat and, oh my, the crackling is heavenly!

See, I’ve digressed already – back to the purpose of the post: the Venezuelan Black marinade. To inject the marinade into the flesh, you’ll need a syringe. I bought a silicone baster with a detachable stainless steel injector.

It did leave holes in the meat and some of the liquid did ooze back out but the cooked joint was moist with a delicate flavour and the juices in the roasting tin produced the best gravy we’ve had in a while.

We used boneless pork leg that had a lovely marbling of fat. Get your butcher to score the fat.


1 tsp fennel seeds
a pinch of sea salt
100ml white wine
a handful of dried apricots, roughly chopped
a piece of ginger about 1 cm thick, peeled and roughly chopped
1 dessertspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp grated cacao

Grind the fennel seeds and sea salt in a pestle and mortar. Rub deep into the creases of the pork fat.

Heat the wine and the dried apricots. Add the ginger and balsamic vinegar. Process the mixture. Reheat the mixture and then strain it. Stir in the cacao. Inject the mixture into the pork flesh.

Roast the pork in the usual manner.


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