Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Fennel and Onions

This dish is simple to make and has very few ingredients, yet still packs in a lot of flavor making a hearty winter dinner.  The use of both fennel seeds and fennel bulb add something different and special to your regular roasted pork tenderloin.  The flavor of the roasted fennel goes great with the onions, creating a sweet complement to the savory pork.  The recipe came from Serious Eats and I didn't feel the need to alter it one bit.  We served this with some potato pancakes, but it would be good with any potato or rice side dish. 
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalk trimmed and cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 red onions cut into 6 wedges
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pork tenderloin (1-1.5 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°F and adjust rack to middle of oven.  We preheated our stoneware baking dish with the oven.  Toss the fennel and onion wedges in a bowl with a generous pour of olive oil, and about a teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Mix to coat evenly and pour into a large rectangular baking dish.  Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.  
Meanwhile, drizzle the pork with 2 teaspoons olive oil and coat with salt and pepper.  Rub the fennel seeds and thyme to fully coat the exterior of the pork.  Remove the fennel and onion from the oven, and create a space in the middle for the pork.  
Place the pork down in the center of the dish and roast until the thickest part registers 145°F with a thermometer. (Should take about 20-30 minutes)  Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  
Slice into 1/2 rounds and serve with the roasted fennel and onions.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if desired.

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