I got this recipe from Ed Marra - the former longtime owner / chef of Bell’s Tavern here in Lambertville, NJ (http://www.bellstavern.com), and current owner of Wine 54 (sorry, no website). He gave me the recipe, and apologized for it being so embarrassingly easy. It is as easy as he said, and is wonderful. The initial low cooking temperature allows the meat to be cooked evenly throughout, instead of the usual “rare on the inside / burnt on the outside”….
So, here’s the recipe. Note that this calls for a 4 pound roast - I did a 2 pounder, and just halved everything.
4 Lb. Center-cut Pork Loin
3 Tbsp. Fennel Seeds, partially ground (I used an old coffee mill that we reserve for spices like this)
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder (I didn’t have garlic powder, so I minced a couple of cloves of fresh garlic)
1 Tbsp. Coarsely ground Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 250 degrees (yes, really 250 - that’s not a typo)
Salt the meat
Mix fennel, pepper, and garlic, rub onto meat
Sprinkle the meat with olive oil (don’t rub - just sprinkle).
Cook at 250 degrees until meat reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees. (The 2 Lb. loin took about 1.5 hours)
Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees, and cook until meat reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees. (Mine started to burn at this point, so I covered the meat with aluminum foil. The 2 Lb. loin took 10 - 15 minutes to reach 140).
Remove the meat from the oven, and let it rest for about 20 minutes. The internal temperature should increase to about 150 degrees.
Ignore the FDA’s recommendation that pork be cooked to 160 degrees, slice the meat thinly, and enjoy!