Roasted Loin of Pork With a Fennel Seed Crust

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I tried this dish a few years ago. I was trying to impress my cousin’s wife who is German and she knows a thing or two about roast pork. I had her Sunday roast pork with gravy, potatoes and braised purple cabbage. She impressed me!

I have found that fennel seeds really complement the taste of pork meat. Fennel seeds aren’t used as much as other spices but they should!

Fennel seeds are native to the Mediterranean and also found in Asia (especially India). It has a licorice like flavour, similar to anise but slightly different.

In India, fennel seeds are often chewed after dinner as a breath freshener. In ancient Greek, fennel was called marathon (μάραθον).

Fennel seeds often provide quick and effective relief from gas, cramps and indigestion.

I’m offering this post for this week’s edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Vani at Batasari.

The hostess Vani will soon provide the readers with a “round up” of all the recipes, stories and information provided by many bloggers like me.

What happened to that pork? Oh yeah…no leftovers is what happened! My trusted meat thermometer worked like a charm, leaving me with a moist and tender roast loin of pork.

Roast Loin of Pork With a Fennel Seed Crust
(feeds 6)

1 loin of pork (I used boneless, 8lbs)
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

2 tsp. fennel seeds + 2 tsp. fennel seeds for topping

1 medium onion, grated

1 tsp ground pepper

coarse sea salt
cracked black pepper

Preheated 425F oven

  1. Rinse and pat-dry your pork loin. In a bowl, mix your grated onion, mustard, garlic powder, thyme, fennel seeds and ground pepper. Rub the pork thoroughly with the marinade and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Bring back to room temperature before roasting.
  2. Place the pork loin in a roasting pan, fat side up. Generously sprinkle coarse salt and cracked black pepper only on the top part of the loin. Sprinkle some more fennel seeds on top.
  3. Roast in the oven uncovered for 40 minutes (at 425F) and then reduce the heat to 375F and add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan to prevent burning.
  4. Cook until the internal temperature of the pork has reached 170F. Remove the roast from the pan and let stand for 15-20 minutes before carving. Time to make your gravy.

Pork-Apple Gravy

1 cup of pork jus, skimmed, deglazed and strained from the pan
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup apple juice

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Skim the fat from the roasting pan and discard. Place the pan on a burner and add your water to deglaze. Scrape the pan to loosen the brown bits. Strain and reserve in a cup.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, add your butter and flour and cook your flour while stirring under medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add your pork jus, stock and apple juice and simmer while stirring. Reduce until you’ve achieved your desired thickness. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve over your pork and mashed potatoes.

© 2008,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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18 Comments for “Roasted Loin of Pork With a Fennel Seed Crust”



Yeia sou Kalofaga! (I love that name!)

What a great recipe and very true what you say about the fennel seeds complementing the pork. Nice one.

Good to see more Greeks on the food blogging scene.



Yum Peter, this looks delicious! I don’t roast pork loin often since it’s so much food for the two of us but I’ll have to remember this recipe the next time we have guests!



Are fennel seeds the same as anise seeds? This looks so delicious and I have some anise seeds left from my plant…

Peter M


Zoomie, they have very subtle differences…fennel is longer & thinner as a seed than anise.



That pork roast looks amazing! The apple sauce also looks pretty tasty. Bookmarked so that I can try the fennel and pork combo.



Peter, I love the platter that your pork loin is sitting on. How pretty…and I lvoe the idea of fennel used as the seasoning for the pork. . .Yum! I have tried fennel seeds that had a colorful hardsheel sugar coating on them and they were delicious. Because the seeds were made to look like candy, they were easy to gather a small handful out of the dish they were sitting in and happily munch away. =D I think that sauces add so much to dishes and I am always striving to learn more about sauces that compliment. I think this dinner looks simply delicious, and thank you for sharing =D



MMmmmm! This one I have to perform! I’ve got the fennel seeds and the pork… I only need some extra people for lunch!

Bellini Valli


Great recipe Peter. In keeping with the licorice flavour you could use ouzo for the jus, but apple juice will do….wink…wink…



Good thing you do not live close to me, I would be knocking on your door at mealtimes! I love fennel and fennel seeds. I think fennel seeds are underused in sauces, etc. I put tons of them in my tomato pasta sauces. I am sure they are great on the pork! I will give it a try!

Peter M


Geia sou Peter from Down Under!

Elly, this makes a wonderful Sunday dinner, call the ‘rents over.

Shandy, thanks again for your superkind comments.

Nuria, you eat big for lunch!

Laurie, I love porkettas too.

Pat, wouldn’t the ladies in the house like it too?

Deb, fennel & pork go well, as evidenced in many Italian sausages containing fennel seeds.



peter, i have no idea who you are, but this recipe sounds and looks amazing! I am going to have to try this with my new roast from thanks for this recipe!



Wow, your pork roast is gorgeous. I agree, fennel should be used much more. Fennel seeds are one of my favorite spices, no question about it.