Friday, December 16, 2011

Garlic-Fennel Rubbed Pork Loin Roast

A pork loin roast can be an amazing cut of meat to work with.  The most important thing to consider with respect to this roast is the rub.  Recently, I decided to prepare a pork loin roast, but I did not know what rub to use.  I scoured the Internet to find the right rub. I ultimately stumbled across a recipe provided by Chef Ryan Hardy to Food and Wine Magazine.

Hardy's recipe draws its inspiration from his personal experience eating roasted pork served by a street vendor in Siena, Italy.  The principal ingredients of the rub are garlic and fennel seeds, with ground fennel and crushed red pepper also being used.  The combination of garlic and fennel give this roast a very earthy and flowery aroma as it cooks in the kitchen, which is very nice.  I prepared the rub ahead of time, rubbed the roast, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before I began to cook.  You could also let the roast sit in the refrigerator overnight, but make sure that it has returned to room temperature before you begin cooking.

The recipe calls for the use of a ten rib pork loin roast.  I opted to go with a pork loin roast without the bones, because it was cheaper. Although a boneless piece of meat tends to cook faster, the particular cut I bought took a little longer to cook than what was called for in the recipe.  It took about one hour and fifty minutes from start to finish, rather than the one hour and thirty five minutes.  For this reason, it is always important to watch the temperature of the roast to ensure that you do not undercook or overcook the meat.  In the end, I think it turned out well and I would make this recipe again.

Adapted from a recipe by Ryan Hardy, provided to
Food & Wine Magazine
Serves 10

6 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon of whole fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of ground fennel
2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons of ground black pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 ten rib pork loin roast (about five pounds), bones frenched.

1.  Prepare the rub and marinate the meat.  Preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit.  In a food processor, combine the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, ground fennel, crushed red pepper, black pepper and olive oil.  Process the ingredients to a past.  Set the pork roast on a large rimmed baking sheet and cut shallow score marks all over the fact.  Spread one tablespoon of the paste on the underside of the roast and the remaining paste all over the scored fat and meaty parts of the roast.  Season all over with salt.

 2.  Roast the pork.  Roast the pork, fat side up for one (1) hour.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325° Fahrenheit for about thirty-five minutes longer or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150° Fahrenheit.  Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes.  Carve the roast and serve at once.


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