16 May 2016

Roast Loin of Pork (with Fennel).

One of our #1 favorite dinners for the last year or so has been Ina Garten's Roast Loin of Pork with Fennel.  I've made it countless times because it is easy and delicious.  This is surely grounds for posting on the blog, but I've never done it because I don't find Pork Loin to be particularly photogenic and I've never taken a good picture.  So I just snatched one from the Internet instead.

Here's a secret if you're thinking about exploring more of Ina Garten's recipes: Most all of the recipes featured on her television show are from her cookbooks, and every recipe that appears on her show also appears on the Food Network website.  AND, many recipes come with a video clip in which she creates the dish herself.  I've found the clips to be very helpful when I've come across gaps in my understanding of how the recipe works.  So!  For all the negative things I have to say about Food Network these days, their Barefoot Contessa resources on their website are probably the only thing I actually love about them.  Use the site to your advantage and do some exploring!


If video clips help you get a better grasp on how to navigate recipes (like me) here's a link to the a video clip of Ina making this amazing dish.

Roast Loin of Pork with Fennel, from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 3-pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied
3 small fennel bulbs, tops removed
10 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced diagonally
10 small potatoes, quartered
2 onions, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons good olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

With a mortar and pestle or in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, grind together the garlic, salt, and thyme leaves.  Add the mustard and combine.  Spread the mixture over the loin of pork and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulbs into thick wedges, slicing through the core.  Toss the fennel, carrots, potatoes, and onions in a bowl with the olive oil, melted butter, salt, and pepper.

Transfer the vegetables to a large roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes.  Add the pork loin to the pan and continue to cook for another 30 to 50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle or the pork reads exactly 138 degrees.  Remove the meat from the pan and return the vegetables to the oven to keep cooking.  Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

Remove the strings from the meat and slice it thickly.  Arrange the meat and vegetables on a platter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Kristin's Notes:
(1) I divide the recipe in half for our family, and everything fits just fine in a 9x13 baking dish.
(2) Use the freshest, most local vegetables you can get  Of all the times I've made this, there was something special about this last time - we are certain it was the farm-fresh vegetables we picked up last weekend at Schnepf Farms!
(3) Use fresh thyme.  Dried thyme just doesn't cut it here.
(4) The fennel can be left out.  The first time I made this, I couldn't find fennel at the particular store I was at, so I didn't include it.  To this day, I've never made the dish with fennel.  Maybe one day!
(5) Okay, more on the vegetables: don't skimp out on them.  They are seriously the star of the dish for me.

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