Pork neck is an inexpensive cut of meat and a favourite Chinese in cuisine for its ability to hold flavour. This recipe could also be made with loin.
1.2kg piece of pork neck
2 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp sea salt flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
4 small turnips, peeled, cut into quarters
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup cooked rice
¼ cup pecan nuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup currants
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, separated
4 small pumpkins, sliced to form tops,
pulp and seeds removed
1 Preheat oven to 200C. Tie pork neck every 6cm with kitchen twine. Put fennel seeds, peppercorns and sea salt in a mortar and pestle and grind until coarsely ground. Pour fennel mixture onto a sheet of baking paper. Roll pork in mixture, coating well on all sides.
2 Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tsp oil. When hot add pork and cook for 5–7 minutes or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a roasting pan. Put turnips around pork and transfer pan to oven. Roast for 45 minutes or until pork is cooked through.
3 Meanwhile, to make pumpkins, heat remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Stir in rice, pecan nuts and currants. Remove from heat and cool. Stir through cheese and egg yolk. Using an electric hand-beater, beat egg white until stiff peaks form and then fold into rice mixture. Spoon mixture into pumpkin shells. Cover with pumpkin tops. Put pumpkins in a baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Serve sliced pork and roasted turnip with pumpkins.