Roasted Center Cut Pork Loin with Fennel

Meat. It’s what’s for dinner. If you haven’t done so already, for your next barbecue, expand from simple steak and burgers into natural raised pork.  If you haven’t had a good large dose of natural raised pork lately, there is no better time than the present.  Now, legally, I am probably supposed to tell you that consuming undercooked meats and proteins may cause food borne illness.  But, please don’t overcook your pork!  Pork is not the “other” white meat.  In fact, the only time pork is white, is if you over cook it!  Treat a pork loin cut the same way you would a cut of beef steak, and perhaps, although you didn’t hear it from me or hear it here, you might think about medium rare at about 145 degrees…

SERVES 4 (12 oz portion before cooking)


  • 3 lb Natural Center Cut Pork Loin trimmed of almost all visible fat & cut into 4 equal portions aprox 2″ thick each piece.
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 TBS Ground Sage
  • 1 TBS Dried Onion Powder
  • 2 TBS Fennel Seeds – cracked/pulverized in food chopper/grinder or Cuisinart
  • 1 TBS fresh ground black pepper

PROCEDURE: Crack/pulverize fennel seeds in a mortar and pestle, Cuisinart or food chopper ( I use an old electric coffee bean grinder for my spices) Combine olive oil, sage, onion powder, fennel and pepper in bowl to form a poultice/rub.  Apply rub evenly to all sides of the pork chop and allow to marinate on a platter in the fridge for 2-3 hours before cooking. Remove chops from frig aprox 30 minutes before cooking to remove chill. Heat barbecue grill according to your manufacturers instructions.  Aim for searing temperature of around 450 degrees to start.  Place chops on grill at 45 degree angle and sear on high heat for 2 minutes.  Rotate chops to opposite 45 degree angle and sear for 2 more minutes. (This will create attractive diamond sear marks on the top side of your chop.) Now cook  chops to desired degree of doneness, turning the chops at the half way point (temperature, not time!)

NOTE: As each type of grill and cut of pork varies, I can’t tell you exactly how long it will take to prepare your chops.  My grill is gas and has an electronic temperature probe that you insert into thicker steaks and roasts.  For the 12 oz pork loins I did tonight, I placed them on the grill at an internal temperature of 45 degrees.  I seared them for 2 minutes at a 45 degree angle, then 2 more minutes at the opposite 45 degree angle, then set the temp alarm for 145 degrees of doneness.  After 4 minutes of searing, the probe registered that the chops were at 55 degrees.  Knowing I still needed to cook them 90 more degrees, I reduced the heat to medium, and cooked the chops till the probe said 100 degrees internal temperature (aprox 8-9 minutes). I turned the chops over and continued to cook them to 145 degrees (aprox 5 minutes)  When the probe said 140 degrees, I moved the chops to the upper rack, away from direct heat, to allow them to rest and carry over the rest of the way. Allow chops to rest for 10-15 minutes to relax before eating. Don’t worry if you can’t finish your entire mini pork roast, it makes excellent leftovers the next morning with eggs!

NUTRITION INFO: Per serving: Calories 749, Total fat 45.8g, sat. Fat 15.2g, Cholest 226.6mg, Sodium 182.9mg, Carb 4.5g, Fiber 2.3g, Sugars 0.1g, Protein 75.5g


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