Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grill-Roasted Pork Loin

Every summer, my husband and I host our gourmet group of 5 couples. The host and hostess plan the entire menu (which in our home translates to me) and also provide the cocktails, wine, main entrée and the side dishes. The rest of the recipes (appetizer, soup, salad and dessert) are assigned to the other four couples to either make or partially make at home and then bring to the party to finish and serve.

Starting each spring, I begin my search for the perfect al fresco recipes for our summer gourmet. Since we always host the group in summer, it normally includes a recipe for meat prepared on the grill so we can continue to socialize with our guests on the patio while preparing dinner.

Recently, I found an intriguing recipe for a roasted pork loin from Alice Waters. Searching through my cookbooks and on the internet produced many variations of and pork and fennel recipes so I combined several of them with mostly Alice Waters' inspiration to create this recipe. David Tannis also has a similar recipe in his new cookbook A Platter of Figs. It's no wonder his recipe is so similar to that of Alice Waters as he has worked very closely with her at Chez Panisse restaurant in California. Tannis suggested the possibility of cooking the roast outdoors on a grill.

Our daughter and son-in-law were the guest 'taste-testers' when I made this recipe a few weeks ago and we all agreed it was gourmet-worthy! Not only did it look beautiful but the flavor was fantastic!

Grill-Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary and Fennel

Printable Recipe

Serves 4 to 6
~adapted from a recipe by Alice Waters

3 lb boneless pork loin, tied at 2" intervals with butcher's twine
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced very thin
1-2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
Several branches fennel fronds
Several sprigs of rosemary
Olive oil

At least 8 hours, or, preferably the night before, make small slits into the bottom side of the tied pork roast with a sharp knife and insert the garlic slices. Season the roast generously with salt,pepper and crushed fennel seeds and drizzle with a little olive oil. Remove the leaves from one large rosemary sprig and chop coasely and rub over the roast. Layer enough fennel fronds and rosemary sprigs in a grill-proof roasting pan (I have an old heavy aluminum roasting pan) to make a bed for the pork roast and place the pork on the top. Place a few fennel fronds on the top of the roast also. Cover and refrigerate.

The following day, bring the pork loin to room temperature. Pre-heat a gas grill to 425°F with the center flame turned off. (Rather than grilling the roast directly over the coals, I decided to leave the roast in the roasting pan on it's wonderful herb 'bed'). Center the roasting pan over the middle grate and grill the pork loin,uncovered, until the internal temperature registers 130°F. on a meat thermometer, about 1 hour. Remove the roast from the grill, cover with a loose tent of foil, and let rest for at least 15 minutes.

Cut the strings from the roast,slice the pork and place on a warm platter with the now-carmelized herbs.

I also made a wine reduction sauce using a few pieces of pork cut from the roast which I browned in a saucepan, covered with beef stock and red wine and then reduced to a thin syrup. I added the pan juices from the grill-roasted pork, and reduced a little more. The resulting sauce was then strained, seasoned with salt and pepper, and served on the side.


  1. Oh, Susan, that is a great looking pork roast. It will be perfect for your gourmet group. Nice job!

  2. Great looking pork roast, Susan! The pictures are so vivid right down to the fronds of the fennel! Great post!

  3. This looks wonderful -- have some nice fennel in the garden!

  4. Oh my goodness! Pork and fennel are the perfect match! Love your recipe....and I agree it looks and sounds gourmet-perfect! Yum!

  5. Next time we serve guest this will.. be on the menu!! It looks wonderful!!

  6. I belong to a cooking light gourmet group too. Isn't it so much fun? Your roast looks wonderful.

  7. That recipe not only sounds delishous but looks it too!
    Thank you for posting it!
    ~Really Rainey~

  8. I've never seen a pork roast look so good!!!! I'm glad I could contribute to your day off of cooking :-) Great flashback!

  9. I was looking for a pork loin recipe. I am going to have to try this one, not sure about finding fresh fennel here though?

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Susan, this one does look gourmet worthy! You have the perfect backyard to entertain outdoors and I bet the others really enjoy it as well.

    Wonderful foodie flashback and your photos are spectactular as always!

  11. I love the fronds under and over the butcher's twine:)

  12. I've made a pork loin similar to this only I wrap it in foil for the first half of the roasting and open it for the last half to brown. Next time I'll try it your way and leave it open in the roasting pan. It looks devine! ~ Robyn

  13. That really looks wonderful! What a great pic!

  14. Susan, pork is a favourite here and I know we would both love that roast.

  15. Hello Susan~I've just strolled into your blog for my first visit...I've enjoyed taking a peek at your past posts. What beauty! You've got so much to take in. We share similar tastes.

    I've bookmarked you my favs.
    I look forward to coming by your charming blog again.
    Please come by for a visit. Your company would be nice.

    Sweet wishes,

  16. Thank you, all! I really appreciate all of your comments and thanks for taking time to stop in :)

  17. Looks really good - the pork loins are so tender, it's nice to see a recipe to "freshen" it up a little!! I'm sure your SIL enjoys being a taste-tester for oyu!!


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