Fennel seed and Parsley crusted Pork with Courgette Risotto

I’m in a new relationship. We’re still in the getting-to-know-you phase…finding out what each other likes, being very careful to make sure each other is happy, wondering where it’s all going… I’m feeling really positive about it. It’s quite exciting really. I can’t wait to get home in the evenings, just so we can spend some time together.


What’s his name, you ask? Well, it’s not a he…it’s a Thermomix! And while I find out its foibles, I thought I’d blog a few of our ‘dates’ aka recipes.

First up, it’s a dinner for two from last night. (Not me and the Thermomix. A living, breathing man called Guy) I decided to try and channel the spring that must be coming soon, by making  bright and fresh, herby risotto with a rack of fennel and parsley crusted pork that I spotted at the Ginger Pig in Greensmith’s (which has to be the best thing about working on Lower Marsh).

Like all relationships I enter into, I’m always waiting to be let down or disappointed, but so far so good. The risotto even impressed Guy, the non-risotto liker. He had seconds….the plate of which is in the accompanying photograph. I forgot to take a pic of the first serving so in this one the risotto has seized up a bit. But I can promise you, it was as silky and creamy as if I’d stirred it myself.

Serves 2


For the Pork:

  • 1 x 4 rib rack of pork loin, french trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 15g fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (sweet)
  • 10g olive oil
  • Lemon juice to taste

For the risotto:

  • 50g parmesan
  • 10g parsley
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 10g butter
  • 10g olive oil
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 50g white wine
  • 150g chicken stock
  • 1 small courgette, diced


  1. Start with the pork. Using a very sharp knife, cut into the skin of the pork at 1 cm intervals between the string. Lay the pork on a rack in the sink and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Pat dry and set aside.
  2. Heat an oven-proof frying pan and add a little olive oil. Colour the pork on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add all the seasoning ingredients into the bowl of the Thermomix and blitz and Speed 10 for 5 seconds.
  4. Rub the seasoning into the skin of the pork, place back in the frying pan and cook in the oven for 10 minutes at 200C. Reduce the heat to 180C and cook for  a further 15 minutes. Remove, cover with foil and allow to rest.
  5. Next start the risotto. Drop the parmesan onto moving blades Speed 9/10 seconds. Then add the parsley Speed 5/5 seconds. It will look like green crumbs…this is what you want. Set aside for later.
  6. Don’t wash the bowl. Place the onion into the bowl and chop speed 5/3 seconds. Add the butter and oil and set to 100c/ Speed 1/ 3 minutes/MC off.
  7. Add the rice, 100C/Reverse Stir/3 mins/MC off
  8. Add the wine 100c/Reverse Stir/2mins/MC off
  9. Add the stock 100c/Reverse Stir/12 mins/MC off. Check occasionally and if it’s looking too dry, replace the MC.
  10. Taste and stir for longer if required. Mine took about 15 minutes. Add half the parmesan mixture with the diced courgette and stir reverse for 1 minute. The heat will just cook the courgette, keeping the colour and texture.
  11. To serve, place the risotto onto hot plates, add a slice of the pork, season the pan juices with a little lemon juice and drizzle over the pork. Finally, add a few of the parmesan and parsley crumbs.