Because the roast needs to marinate overnight, be sure to start this impressive entrée one day ahead.
- 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 olive oil
- 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 tablespoon salt
- 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.
- Spoon pan juices from roasting pan into small saucepan. Spoon off fat and reserve.
- 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.
- 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.