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Citrus-Marinated Pork Rib Roast for Christmas

Citrus-Marinated Pork Rib Roast for Christmas

When making this dish in Marche, Italy, Fabio Trabocchi's father used pork from neighboring farmers, which he marinated using oranges from Sicily, wild fennel from the surrounding fields and herbs from a container garden on the family's back porch


  • Two 5-bone pork rib roasts, about 4 pounds each
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 3 lemons, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler and lemons juiced
  • 3 oranges, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler and oranges juiced
  • 20 fresh bay leaves
  • 8 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Roasted small apples and pears (see Note), for garnish
  • SERVINGS: 10 


  1. Using a paring knife, make three 1-inch-deep slits on the fatty side of each pork rib roast closest to the bones. Stud the garlic cloves with the whole cloves and stuff them into the slits.
  2. In a baking dish, combine the lemon and orange zests and juices with the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, fennel seeds, juniper berries and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. Bring the pork rib roasts to room temperature before roasting.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Scrape off the marinade and generously season the pork with salt and pepper. In a very large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the pork and brown over moderate heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  4. Transfer the pork rib roasts to a large roasting pan. Roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the pan once or twice, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 140°. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut the pork between the rib bones into 10 chops. Transfer to plates, garnish with the roasted apples and pears and serve.


Score the apples to prevent the skin from splitting. Roast the fruit at 350? for about 1 hour, until tender.


Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy's premier wine regions, produces aromatic, elegant reds that age effortlessly for years. These wines are ideal partners for this impressive pork rib roast (and for almost any extravagant roast).



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