Saturday, January 5, 2019

RECIPE: Pork tenderloin with Fennel and Garlic Cream

Many years ago, I would buy a Sicilian fennel pate and use it to season pork tenderloin.  I no longer buy this because it's not organic so I make my own.

Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Garlic Cream
Serves 4-6

2 pounds pork tenderloin from pasture raised pigs (1 large or two small )
2 t. fennel seeds, roasted (do NOT USE RAW fennel seeds!)
1 t. himalayan pink salt
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 
1 t. raisins, minced
1 t. balsamic vinegar
Opt: 1/4 t. cayenne
1/2 c heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 425F.

If necessary, clean the tenderloin(s) (remove the silver skin and excess fat.)  I don't understand why butchers never do this!  Set in a small baking pan with shallow sides - I make this in our small toaster oven.

In a mortar and pestle, pound the fennel seeds until most of them are reduced to powder.  

Add the salt and garlic and pound into puree.  

Add the raisins and incorporate them into the puree.  

Add the EVOO 1 T. at a time and emulsify.  Add the balsamic to complete the emulsion.

Roasted fennel on the left, paste on the right
Spread this paste over the pork as evenly as you can.

Roast for 10 minutes.  Pour in the cream and scrape up any brown bits.  

Roast for another 5 minutes.  

Before roasting on left, after roasting on right

The pork should now be slightly pink.  Because we buy pork that we KNOW has been pasture raised and is unlikely to be contaminated we are comfortable eating it at this temperature.  If you're using conventional pork you should probably cook it until all pink is gone, another 3-5 minutes (or whatever is necessary given the size of the tenderloin).

Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes, tented with parchment.  

Slice the pork 1/2" thick and serve with the seasoned cream sauce.  

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