I’ve never really loved pork for a variety of reasons.
However, the past few times I’ve crafted an oven roasted pork tenderloin, it’s been rather amazing.
Which means, I may be turning another corner in the kitchen…
But, with fresh rosemary and fennel, how could something NOT be amazing!
This cooking method may seem a little tricky and complex, but in all reality, it’s fool proof and referenced from my earlier recipe, Pickled Seeds and Pork.
It’s actually quite fabulous, in every regard.
Fennel and Rosemary Crusted Porkloin with Cauliflower Fennel Puree
1 lb. pastured pork tenderloin
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt “rock” crystals
1 Tbs. butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
1 large bulb fresh fennel, fronds removed and reserved, sliced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 Tbs. red onion, minced
2 Tbs. fresh fennel fronds (from the above reserve), minced
2 tsp. + 1/4 cup olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Bring the tenderloin to room temperature. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the fennel seeds, peppercorns, and salt crystals into a coarse “rub.” Combine with the fresh rosemary and thoroughly rub all over the loin – covering all surfaces.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
On a parchment lined baking tray, uncovered, roast the loin for 5-7 minutes.
Keep the oven door closed!
No matter what, keep that sucker closed.
Turn off the oven and continue to “cook” for 50-60 more minutes.
This is tricky…the door MUST stay closed, but you’ll have to judge when to remove the little loin. 50 or 60 minutes. The key is to allow for the pork to reach an internal temperature of 165, but not to dry out. Opening the door will interfere with the moist cooking process ~ so good luck!
No really, it’s not that difficult. For 1 lb. of pork, a high heat 500 degree oven for 5-7 minutes, plus an “off” oven for 50 minutes is pretty great.
Once the pork is crusted and done, remove from the oven, tent with foil, and allow to “rest” about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
While the pork cooks, heat the first batch of butter or oil over medium heat and sauté the sliced fennel with a bit of salt. Transfer to a high speed blender. Using the same pot, cover the cauliflower florets with just enough water…and bring to a boil. Simmer until soft. Transfer to the blender with the fennel, add a little extra salt, and puree until super smooth.
Finally, sauté the red onion and fennel fronds (with the salt) until golden brown. Add the most delicious extra virgin olive oil to the mix for maximum flavor, along with salt and pepper, and any extra fronds. This creates a marvelous drizzle to finish off the dish.
Serve the sliced pork atop the puree and delicately drizzled in the onion-fennel infused oil.
And be sure to have a super friendly smiling face by your side as you enjoy the experience.