Based on this recipe this time it was stuffed with some sauteed fennel. We love the fennel in this house. Sam I'm talking to you.
A few extra steps made this recipe shine. Dice the fennel and put it in the saute pan over medium high heat with some oil and butter and saute until it begins to soften. Add a pinch of kosher salt. Toss in half the garlic, turn the heat down a bit and continue stirring and watching until the garlic is just about to start browning and then add 1/3 cup of stock and half of the fennel seeds. Cover and let it braise for 5 - 10 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook stirring occasionally until the mixture starts to dry out a bit, but not all the way dry, this is your stuffing and you still want it to add moisture as well as flavor. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let this cool for 10 - 15 minutes on another unused burner but still in the pan. You will use this pan in the oven to finish cooking the pork in a bit. HA! Not only quick and delicious but 1 pan. What's not to love?
Preheat your oven to 425F
Meanwhile take your pork tenderloin and with a nice sharp knife slice 3/4 of the way into the thick end and and run your knife carefully down towards the thin end. You just want to open it like a book leaving one side connected. If you are really ambitious pound it out a bit and tweak things with your knife occasionally to make a nice flat surface. Season this well with salt and pepper.
Peel a few cloves of garlic and with a food processor, mortar and pestle or enthusiastically with the side of a knife pulverize it with some kosher salt into a paste add the remaining fennel seeds. Add a few grinds of black pepper and mix in. Add a glug or two of olive oil and stir to make it a nice sticky paste.
Now take the cooled sauteed fennel and garlic mixture and spread it down the inside of the tenderloin. You can pile it up a bit, don't worry. Slide a piece of cooking twine under and then carefully tie it up like a corset to keep in the stuffing. Continue with 2 or 3 other pieces of cooking twine.
Once it is tied smear the whole thing with the garlic/salt/fennel seed mixture. Place it back in the pan you made the stuffing in. In fact if there is any extra stuffing leave it in the pan. Put it in the oven and roast for about 25 mins or until the internal temp is 135F.
Pull the pork and rest it, tented with foil, on a cutting board or plate. Place the pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium. Add some white wine, oh say 1/4 - 1/3 cup. Scrape up all the lovely stuck bits. Reduce for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the other 1/3 cup of stock and let it bubble and boil and reduce for 2 - 3 minutes. Add some cream, oh say 2 TBS to 1/4 cup, again let it bubble and reduce for another 3 - 5 minutes. Taste. Adjust seasonings. Turn it off when it is both seasoned as you like and as thick as you like.
Slice your rested tenderloin and serve with the delicious pan dripping goodness. A little celeriac mash and some green beans wouldn't hurt either.
Ingredient list for those so inclined:
1 pork tenderloin
2/3 cup chicken stock
5 - 6 (or 7 or 8 if you are us) cloves of garlic, peeled
2 TBS fennel seeds
1 - 2 fennel bulbs depending on size
1/4 - 1/3 cup white wine
2 TBS - 1/4 cup heavy cream