Lemon & Fennel Crusted Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup fennel seeds
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 lb pork loin
agave nectar or honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup broth (veg or chicken)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Preheat skillet on medium heat for 1 minute. Add fennel seeds and toast until fragrant, 4 minutes approx. Do not burn. Add to a mortar and pestle and add a pinch salt. Grind. Once ground, add the lemon zest and pepper.
Lay the pork loin on a cutting board and season with salt on all sides. Roll the loin on the board to absorb all the seasoning. Drizzle agave/honey on all sides of the loin (this is to help the spice coating to stick to the loin), then roll the pork in the fennel mixture, rubbing it in so the mixture sticks. Make sure you coat all sides.
Preheat same skillet on medium heat for 2 minutes and add the olive oil. Once the skillet and oil are hot, add crusted pork and sear on all sides until golden approx 2 minutes each side. Once seared lay on foil-lined baking pan and add the broth to the pan. Put in preheated oven for 10 minutes approx or until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before carving. Don’t be afraid to cook the pork to medium rare. Pork loin, being a very lean protein, shouldn’t be over cooked. By letting it rest you’re allowing time for the juices redistribute into the meat, which should be a perfect moist medium rare/medium when ready to carve.