“Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you!” ~Tommy Smothers
I am a vegetarian. Sorry – pescatarian. Yet it doesn’t prevent me from preparing meat dishes for special occasions for family. This time it was the pork roast for the Easter table. In the end of the day, after all of the dishes during Easter were tried out, I kept on bugging everyone how was the meat – whether it was tasty, not dry, etc. It is a bit weird cooking it without tasting and only relying on the opinion on others :). I was assured it did turn out perfectly. I also felt like a rookie at the meat department in the supermarket – asking my Mom what kind of meat was best for the roast I had in mind. We went with the pork tenderloin – about 1,5 kilo beautiful piece.
* 1,5 kilo pork tenderloin
* 1 large fennel bulb
* 1 garlic
* 2 teaspoons red pepper, crushed
* 4-6 fresh rosemary sprigs
* a handful of fresh sage
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons butter
First, prepare the marinate – crush the red pepper…
… nip of the rosemary and the sage leaves…
… chop the garlic, add the salt and olive oil. Mix the pepper, garlic, salt and rosemary, …
… rub the meat with the mixture and let it marinate at room temperature for a couple of hours.
I didn’t have any fennel seeds on hands, although I did feel the marinate was asking for it, but since the whole fennel bulb was waiting to be thrown in with the meat for roasting, it wasn’t much of a loss.
Once the meat has rested a bit, cut and add the fennel, throw on the sage, cover the pan with the foil and roast the meat in the oven at 160 degree temperature for about 1,5 hours. Then remove the foil and roast it for another 30-40 minutes,basting the meat with the liquid it’s cooking in every few minutes until the meat turns golden brown.
Remove from the oven, put a few tablespoons of butter on top to melt and set in the meat.
Serve with oven baked vegetables when hot, or on bed of rucolla and cherry tomatoes if cold.