Fennel and Black Pepper Crusted Pork Rib Roast with a Piperade of Sweet Peppers

Recipe Date: September 5, 2021
Difficulty: Medium
Measurements: Imperial (US)

As much as I would like to go vegan to save the planet it’s hard for me to kick my pork habit. I need a good roast or a slice of bacon once in awhile to keep my life in balance. This roast is here to scratch that pork itch. It fills the house with a beautiful perfume of fat and spices and looks fabulous resting on the cutting board. Rub the meat the night before with the spice mix for the best flavor penetration. Serves 4 – 6


  • 4 pound bone-in pork rib roast
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground fennel seed
  • 1½ tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • Piperade, recipe follows


1. Place the pork roast on a cutting board fat side up. Score the fat cap of the pork into 1 inch diamonds. Cut the fat only to the meat underneath and not into it.

2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Rub the salt mixture thoroughly into all sides of the pork roast taking extra care to rub the spices into the cuts on the fat side.

4. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate overnight turning once to redistribute the juices.

5. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

7. Heat a large saute or roasting pan over medium high heat. When the pan is just warm, add the pork to the pan fat side down and let the pork fat render out as the pan heats up. Sear all sides until crisp and golden, taking particular care on the fat side. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce the heat if the pan gets too smoky and juices start to burn. 

8. Place the roast in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 30 to 40 minutes. Rotate pan 180 degrees every 30 minutes. Meat thermometer should read 142 degrees F.  Let the roast rest for 30 minutes before slicing.

9. Serve the slices on a large platter on top of or alongside the Piperade.

Notes: Prepare the spice mix up to one week in advance. Store at room temperature tightly sealed.

For best flavor, rub the pork roast the day before, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight. That way you get the messy work out of the way.

Recipe: Piperade