Fennel Encrusted Pork Tenderloin

Fennel Encrusted Pork Tenderloin

This week I (Daniel) had the most uncontrollable urge to cook pork. But not just any pork, it had to be pork tenderloin. I was so manic about it I ended up buying two. I made the first one for dinner the other night with a spice rub and chimichurri sauce and it was great. Then, last night I made gluten-free pork meatballs for my roommate using fennel seed and red wine vinegar. It was amazing. And I’m now convinced that fennel seed and pork are a match made in food heaven.

With these thoughts in mind, I set out to find recipes that incorporated the two ingredients I simply couldn’t get out of my head. So check out these lovely photos and you'll find the super simple recipe at the bottom of the post.

Slice the vegetables

Slice the vegetables

Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Have a sip of beer at this point as well.

Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Have a sip of beer at this point as well.

Fennel seeds love pork. 

Fennel seeds love pork. 

Grind up the pork-loving fennel seeds

Grind up the pork-loving fennel seeds

Whip it good. (Olive oil, balsamic, then whisk)

Whip it good. (Olive oil, balsamic, then whisk)

Season the pork...like you mean it.

Season the pork...like you mean it.

Roast it. Obviously.

Roast it. Obviously.

Slice it up.

Slice it up.

Make it sexy.

Make it sexy.

Ingredients:

2 medium fennel bulbs, sliced
2 medium red onions, sliced
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 pound pork tenderloin
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Now it goes like this:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Toss sliced fennel and onion in olive oil to coat and add to a deep baking dish. Roast for 20 minutes or until the vegetables starts to break down and get golden in spots.
3. While the vegetables roast, grind fennel seed and add to thyme. Pat dry the pork tenderloin and season with salt and pepper. Next, rub the fennel-thyme mixture all over so that it sticks and is evenly coated.
4. Remove the vegetables from the oven, place the seasoned tenderloin overtop, and return to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer shows 145°F, about 25 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes.
5. While the pork rests, whisk balsamic vinegar with ¼ cup of olive oil. Slice the pork in thick pieces, and drizzle with the balsamic sauce. Serve with the roasted vegetables.

This was a super fun one (as they all are). But if you’re interested in the more Argentinian-driven tenderloin I made earlier this week, here are the cliff notes.

2 tsp. smoked paprika—2 tsp. ground cumin—1 tsp. garlic powder—1 tsp dried oregano—1/2 tsp. cinnamon—1 tsp. kosher salt—1/2 tsp black pepper

Rub the spice blend over the pork, sear for 3 minutes per side, and finish in the oven until your thermometer reads 145°F. Serve with chimichurri.

 

Have a good week, guys! Thanks for stopping by. 

Recipe by Daniel Ernce
Photos by Erin Hargis