Roast pork loin with fennel and thyme is my favourite way to cook pork loin. This economical cut of meat is delicious when roasted. According to the USDA, pork roasts should reach an internal temperature of 62 C / 145 F, and can still be pink in the middle. In Canada, Health Canada recommends cooking pork roasts to an internal temperature of 71 C / 160 F. In our roast pork loin recipe, we recommend cooking to 63 C / 150 F before removing the pork from the oven to rest. Upon resting, the pork will continue to cook and should reach a maximum of 71 C / 160 F. It’s important not to overcook the pork, as this will dry it out and make it tough. However, it’s okay if the pork roast loin is slightly pink inside.
Generally I’m not a fan of licorice or anise-flavoured foods. Fennel has a flavour of anise, but when mixed with thyme and rubbed on a pork roast, I find it positively delicious! You can easily whip up a side dish while the roast cooks; try serving this pork roast with a side of honey mustard green beans or a Caesar salad. The roast pork loin only takes 45-60 minutes to cook, so this is a dish you can throw in the oven even on a weekday night.
- 1 kg boneless pork loin (about 2 lbs)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F.
- Peel the garlic cloves and cut into slivers. With a small, sharp knife, make several incisions throughout the pork loin. Insert the garlic slivers into the incisions. Place the pork loin in a large roasting tin, fat side up.
- In a small bowl, mix the salt, ground pepper, brown sugar, thyme, fennel seeds, and paprika. Rub this spice mixture all over the pork loin.
- Roast the pork loin for 60 to 75 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 65 C / 150 F. The pork will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven.
- Remove the roast from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Optional: You can add a carrot, sweet potato, potato, onion, apple, and mushrooms, cut into chunks, to the roasting pan along with the pork.