EASY button time again. Not a lot of ingredients, or time is needed for Pork Tenderloin Provençal. An aromatic mix of fresh rosemary, fennel seeds, orange zest, and garlic—a classic flavor combo—gives this quick-to-prep dish a French accent, mon ami.
During the summer months we prefer to grill rather than heat up the oven. In this case however, with the crumbly rub on the tenderloins, we decided the oven was the smart choice lest we lose all of the fragrant topping through the grill grates. Glad we did because that mixture was out-of-this-world délicieux—thus earning a spot in the upper echelon of our pork recipes. Très bien!
The notions of slow cooking (although this takes less than a half hour) and eating seasonally are both ingrained in the French cuisine du marche or cooking from the market. If you want to cook like the French, you need to shop for food like the French and that means going for produce that’s naturally available—like grow your own herb garden, or shop at a local farm stand.
Food is all about love mon chér, so share your meals with family and friends when you can.
Ingredients for the rub (orange zest, fresh rosemary, garlic and fennel seed) are gathered.
After the fennel seed is crushed, the rest of the seasonings are mixed together in the mortar.
- 1 1-1/2-lb. pork tenderloin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. whole fennel seeds, coarsely ground in a mortar and pestle
- 1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
The tenderloins are oiled before the rub is pressed onto the pork.
After a 5-minute rest, the tenderloins are sliced down and the juices are poured over the meat.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Brush the pork all over with the olive oil, and season generously all over with salt and pepper.
- Combine the garlic, fennel seeds, rosemary, and orange zest, and press the mixture all over the pork.
- Transfer to a small rimmed baking sheet or ovenproof skillet, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the pork registers 135°F, about 20 minutes.
- Let rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing and transferring to a platter.
- Pour the juice from the cutting board and the baking sheet over the pork and serve.
by Erica Clark
NOTE: A suggestion from FineCooking.com is to serve with Fresh Parsley and Caper Mashed Potatoes. But to me that is more of a cool weather side dish.
Fresh and dried herbs are used extensively in Provençal cooking. A popular Provençal dried herb blend is called Herbes de Provence, and typically contains thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary, sage and basil. These herbs, and others such as parsley, are used together or separately in a wide variety of dishes including stews, bakes, soups and salads—or are simply rubbed over fish, chicken or meat, as in the case with this recipe, before grilling.
Other commonly used seasonings include saffron, anchoïade (anchovy paste), aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), capers, rouille (chili and garlic mayonnaise), tapenade, wine vinegar and lemon juice.