Note: It's fine to use whole fennel seeds in equal measure in place of cracked fennel. Just toast it in a pan over medium heat until fragrant. Then, bash it up using a mortar and pestle.
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- Yield:Serves 4 to 6
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:1 1/2 hours
- 1 1/4 teaspoon cracked fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 pound boneless pork loin
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into rough chunks
- 1 pound pearl onions, peeled
- 1 cup dry white wine, divided
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Combine fennel, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub and evenly distribute mixture onto pork. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sear pork on all sides until well-browned, about 15 minutes total.
Add vegetables to pan, along with 1/2 cup white wine. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and deglaze pan by scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar and transfer to the oven to roast, uncovered, turning the meat periodically, until pork registers 140 to 145°F on an instant read thermometer, about 1 hour.
Remove from oven and transfer pork loin to a cutting board. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, deglaze pan with remaining 1/2 cup wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits. Season pan juices to taste with salt and pepper. Slice meat and serve with vegetables and pan juices.