Roast Pork with Apple and Fennel

Roast pork sirloin with grilled apple and fennel

I believe it should be a crime to serve pork without fennel, they are a perfect match. This recipe uses a whole pork sirloin, which you should be able to get from a butcher (and Costco frequently has them as well). This recipe has a lot of variations for it, and while this is written up for a roast pork sirloin it can be done for a tenderloin, loin, or even ribs! See the variations after the base recipe for other ideas.

Pork and poultry should always be brined to keep them moist, and to add flavor. A brine should be roughly 5% salt to add moisture, and 5% sugar to create a crust (measure by weight). While other flavors won't truly penetrate the meat, they can add aroma (which is a big part of flavor). I generally go with 20g salt, 20g brown sugar, and 4 or 5 garlic cloves and some fennel fronds for aromatics. Brine overnight, or for at least an hour or two, even that short of a brine will make a difference.

Brine:

  • 20g salt
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 400g warm water
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 4 fennel fronds (chopped)

Pat the roast dry after brining, then rub the pork with a spice mixture. You don't need salt (since you brined), but rub with freshly cracked black pepper and granulated garlic (or garlic powder). Let sit for 1 hour.

Quarter 2 apples and one head of fennel. To prepare the fennel trim off the stalks/fronds, and save them to use later. Cut the cores out of the apples, but leave them in the fennel (you will cut them out after cooking, they hold it together while grilling it). Salt both and drizzle with EVOO.

Grill set up:

  • A hot zone for browning, a hot griddle, and an indirect grilling zone (300-400F)

Sear the pork roast on the hot zone of the fire until well browned, then move to the indirect heated section of the grill. You can grill the apple and fennel directly on the grill on a hot griddle. Char both on each side for 2-3 minutes on each side then move to the indirect zone with the pork. See the instagram photos below to see how much they should be cooked. The apple and fennel need to cook for 20-30 minutes, the pork will take 1 to 1.5 hours. Cook the pork to 145F internal, then give it a quick char on all sides. Final temp after resting should be 150-155F, or done to desired color. Let rest for 15-20 mintes and slice thinly.

Pre-heat a griddle over the fire and sear the apple and fennel on each side on it. Then move off the griddle and let roast for 15-20 minutes.

Chop up the fennel fronds, along with some chives or shallots. Sprinkle those over the roasted, rested, and sliced pork.

Variations:

  • Use a pork tenderloin, butterfly it, and roll with cooked apple and fennel
  • Use a large pork loin and triple the apple and fennel amounts
  • Butterfly a large pork loin and roll with the apple and fennel
  • Add cinnamon and honey to the apple to carmelize it
  • Add ramps! Seriously, add ramps to everything
  • Fennel and mushrooms work well too!

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Roasted #pork sirloin with charred apple and fennel and bacon fat #cornbread #livefirecook #grilling #bbq #roast #porksirloin #fire #fuego ##foodie #foodpics #royaloakcharcoal #applewood #fennel

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Pork tenderloin rolled with apple, anchos, shallots and fennel (w/monkey bread). The best part was that it was still light out while I was grilling! #livefirecooking #grilling #livefire #woodfire #instafood #goodeats #chicago #firecooking #cookingwithfire #bbq #cooking #grilled #barbeque #cookingoutside #pork #monkeybread

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I’m out of town for the week and am cooking on a .... gas grill 😳😱🤭. At least it’s a very good one. Made a pork rouladen with fennel, mushroom, shallots, garlic and herbs. Could have used some smoke, but still turned out great! #grilling #pork #rouladen #gasgrill #beefeatergrill #homecooked #cooking #bbq #foodstagram #foodie #grilled #cookedbyme #grill #goodeats #foodphotos #foodpics #cookingoutside #outdoorcooking #fennel #mushrooms

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