Pork Roast with Potatoes & Fennel

Who among us doesn’t love a good pork roast? This recipe screams “Sunday dinner” and I made plenty for two people so I’ll have loads of leftovers for lunches throughout the week. Roasted vegetables and potatoes are also a perfect way to welcome in the cooler fall weather that’s finding its way to New York City these last few days. This dinner will warm you all the way through and make you feel as though you’re sitting at grandma’s table for a big family supper.

What I love about this recipe is the unexpected anise flavor from the fennel. This takes the traditional combination of pork, potatoes and onions to the next level and adds a little crunch to the meal. During the roasting process, the sharp licorice flavor will mellow out and sweeten the dish.

Had I not been doing my best to stay out of the rain, I would have gone to the store a day in advance and marinated the pork ahead of time. That being said, even a quick 30 minute marinade gave plenty of flavor toe the meal and I tossed in a little more garlic than I normally would to really boost the flavor.

If you haven’t cooked with pearl onions before, you may become frustrated with them when you go to prepare them. Often you can find them jarred and then you’ll just need to drain them before tossing them in the roasting pan, but if you do buy them fresh you’ll need to peel them. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, toss the onions in peels and all and boil them for about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain the onions, let them cool enough to handle and the peels should slide right off.

Pork Roast with Potatoes & Fennel

  • 3 pounds pork tenderloin with about 1/8″ fat on top
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 head fennel, sliced
  • 20-25 pearl onions, peeled
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the 2 tbsp of olive oil with the garlic, rosemary and thyme. Brush the pork tenderloin with this mixture and coat all over. Ideally, this should be done a day in advance and the pork can marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours and then brought up to room temperature before cooking. In a time crunch, marinate the pork for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add the potatoes, fennel and onions to a large baking dish or roasting pan. Cover with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and mix everything well. Roast the vegetables for 30 to 40 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Place the pork on top of the veggies, drop the oven down to 325 degrees, and cook the pork for 25 to 35 minutes until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees in the center. Allow the meat to rest 15 to 20 minutes covered with foil before serving.

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