Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and SageDecember 8, 2014
In ancient Rome fennel was associated with strength, longevity and courage. Often described as a most useful to women, fennel was used for the production of milk in lactating mothers; high in vitamin C it was also used thought to be full of anti-aging properties. Ancient Romans chewed fennels stalks in the belief that it would cure obesity.
Sage has long been credited with having healing properties. It was used in antiquity for warding off evil, snakebites, and for increasing women’s fertility.
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 ½ pounds pork tenderloin
2 medium fennel bulbs
1 onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
handful fresh sage
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Crush fennel seeds with a mortar and pestle. Pat pork dry, then sprinkle with crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper.
Cut fennel bulbs lengthwise into ½-inch wedges. Cut onion into ½-inch slices.
Heat oil in a 12-inch oven-proof heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides, about 6 minutes total, then transfer to a plate.
Sauté garlic, onion and fennel wedges in skillet until onion is soft and fennel is golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add wine, stirring and scraping up brown bits, then stir in broth, fresh sage and butter. Place the seared pork on top of fennel and transfer skillet to the middle rack of the preheated oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145 to 150° F, about 20 minutes.
Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, transfer the skillet to stovetop, bring to a boil and reduce slightly. Stir in lemon juice. Pour the sauce over the pork, garnish with fresh sage leaves and serve warm.