I’ve always shied away from pork as memories of chewing away at a lump of fibrous meat as a kid for what felt like hours always haunted me. My husband has the same nasty memories of grilled, dry, pork chop dinners – hence his obsession with sauces.
However this pork dish is simply divine. The meat is pale in colour, slices like velvet and was the tastiest dish I’ve had in a long time.
It’s a very simple recipe. It just takes patience and faith in your cooking!
You have to try it.
pork loin in a salt & fennel crust
1 kg/2.2lbs (approx.) Boneless Pork Loin Roast
4 tablespoons Fennel Seeds
1.4 kg/3lb box of Coarse Sea or Kosher Salt (I used Mortons Coarse Kosher Salt)
2 Egg Whites
1 Fennel Bulb, trimmed and sliced
Preheat oven to 120°C/250°F. Check your pork to make sure all the skin and fat is removed and if there is any silverskin remove that too. Season the pork all over with ground black pepper.
Grind the fennel seeds in a mini processor or pestle and mortar and put into a large bowl along with the salt. Whisk the eggs until frothy then stir into the salt/fennel seed mixture until everything is combined.
Take your baking tray and put a layer of the salt mixture at the bottom, about half an inch thick, then put a layer of sliced fennel on top of the salt. Pop the pork on top and pack the remaining salt over and around the pork to form a thick crust. Use all the salt mixture and make sure there aren’t any holes or gaps.
Roast in the over for 1.5 hours. Check if it is cooked by sticking a thin metal skewer into the meat to see if the juices run clear. If not, roast for a further 10 minutes.
When the juices run clear, let the pork rest for 30 minutes in the roasting tin.
Crack the crust, remove the pork and dust off any salt clinging to the pork. If you don’t it will taste too salty! Slice thinly and serve with baby boiled potatoes and Creamy Baked Fennel, or just a salad.
*Recipe adapted from Johnnie Mountain’s “Pork Loin in a Salt & Fennel Crust”