Fennel-Garlic Pork Roast

A featured Wine Club recipe for Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery.
Fennel-Garlic Pork Roast


A juicy pork roast recipe with a delicious fennel-garlic rub. Pair this with the 2011 'Symposium' Pinot Noir from Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery.

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 55 Minutes
Cook Time: 155 Minutes


For the Brine:
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
• 18 fresh bay leaves (1/3 ounce)
• 10 thyme sprigs
• 10 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
• 2 heads of garlic, halved horizontally
• 1 cup kosher salt
• 3 quarts cold water

For the Pork:
• One 4-pound boneless pork loin, tied

For the Rub:
• 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons canola oil


Make the Brine:
In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, garlic and salt with 1 quart of the water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Pour the brine into a large bowl and let cool. Add the remaining 2 quarts of cold water along with the pork and refrigerate overnight (12 to 18 hours). Drain and pat dry, picking off any seasonings.

Make the Rub:
In a mini food processor or a mortar, combine the fennel seeds, red pepper, garlic, lemon zest and salt and process or pound to a paste. Stir in the olive oil. Rub half of the spice paste on the lean side of the pork and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Make the Pork:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set a rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. On a large griddle, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the pork fat side down and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to the rack, fat side up, and slather with the remaining garlic paste. Roast the pork for about 1 hour, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 140 to 145 degrees Let rest for 20 minutes before slicing.