Pork Rib Roast with Apples, Fennel, and Potatoes

pork rib roast with apples fennel and potatoes
Photo: Lennart Weibull
Prep Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 5 mins
8 to 12 Serves

A French-cut rib roast is festive and regal, especially when encrusted with herbs and served on a bed of caramelized apples, fennel, onions, and baby potatoes. A sweet tip: Use cipollini onions if you can, and don't peel them. Their skins act like steamer jackets, so they get incredibly tender.


  • 1 bone-in pork rib roast (8 ribs; 6 to 7 pounds, depending on size), frenched, fat cap trimmed to ¼ inch thick

  • Kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal) and freshly ground pepper

  • cup Dijon mustard, plus more for serving

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 3 sprigs

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, crushed

  • 1 ½ pounds small potatoes (golf-ball-size), such as red bliss or fingerling

  • 1 pound unpeeled cipollini onions, or 2 medium Vidalia onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

  • 3 small fennel bulbs (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 4 sweet-tart baking apples, such as Braeburn or Honeycrisp (1 ¾ pounds)


  1. Score rib-roast fat cap with the tip of a paring knife in opposite directions, to create a 1/2-inch crosshatch. Prick roast all over with knife tip at approximately 1-inch intervals, about 1 inch deep. Generously season with salt and pepper, rubbing it into meat with your hands. In a bowl, stir together mustard, soy sauce, chopped rosemary, and coriander and fennel seeds.

  2. Rub mixture all over pork. Let stand at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours, or loosely cover and refrigerate up to 1 day (return to room temperature at least 1 hour before roasting).

  3. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a saucepan, combine potatoes and enough cold water to fully submerge them. Bring to a boil. Season with 1 tablespoon salt and boil until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Using a flattened palm or the bottom of a measuring cup, flatten potatoes slightly (but keep them intact).

  4. Transfer potatoes to a large roasting pan with onions and fennel. Toss with 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer. Scatter rosemary sprigs over vegetables. Place marinated pork in center of pan, atop vegetables.

  5. Roast 15 minutes. Meanwhile, core and quarter apples and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Scatter apples into pan and continue cooking until vegetables are tender and a thermometer inserted in center of roast registers at least 135°F, 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 45 minutes more, depending on size.

  6. Transfer pork to a carving board, loosely cover, and let stand 20 minutes; discard rosemary. Turn oven off and return vegetables to oven to keep warm. Carve pork and serve with vegetables and more mustard.

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