Roasted Pork Shoulder and Cherry Tomatoes

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This spice rub may taste strong initially but once it has roasted on the pork, you will have a hard time getting it carved with all the fingers trying to grab pieces of the crusted edges!  A great way to serve pork to a crowd – so tender and juicy.

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp whole black peppercorns

1/2 star anise pod

4 garlic cloves, crushed, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

One 4-5 pound boneless pork shoulder roast

2 cups dry red wine (make sure it is good wine – good enough to drink!)

2 pints cherry tomatoes or small late-season tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp bread crumbs, lightly toasted

In a spice grinder, grind the coriander, fennel, peppercorns and star anise to a fine powder. Transfer the spices to a bowl and stir in the crushed garlic, salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork shoulder roast, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

Unwrap the pork and let it return to room temperature before proceeding.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Set the pork shoulder on a rack in a medium roasting pan. Pour the wine into the pan and roast the meat for about 4 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 180°.

Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. Turn oven up to 375

While the pork rests, toss the cherry tomatoes with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 20-30 minutes, just until soft.

In a small bowl, stir the chopped garlic with the lemon zest, bread crumbs and parsley. Thinly slice the pork and sprinkle with the parsley mixture. Serve with the roasted cherry tomatoes.

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