Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel Slaw from WCC Culinary Arts School

- This recipe comes courtesy of the Washtenaw Community College. Faculty member and culinary arts instructor Chef Derek Anders Jr. shows us how to prepare the dish with the help of student Karli Huber. You can find the recipe below.

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2 lbs Pork loin, boneless, excess fat removed
2t fresh Thyme Leaves
2 cloves Garlic, finely minced
¼ cup Virgin Olive Oil
1 ea Granny Smith Apples, cored, sliced ½ inch
¼ cup Cold Butter, cubed
2T Brown Sugar
½oz Pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped, for garnish
Salt and pepper

Gather all equipment and ingredients. Wash the pork loin and pat dry.
Begin preparing the garlic, thyme and place ingredients into a small bowl
Add the olive oil and mix until combined.
Next, prepare the pork loin by removing the excess fat and cutting in half, lengthwise.
Drizzle the garlic oil mixture over the pork loin halves and rub this flavoring mixture into the meat.
Refrigerate the pork loin to marinate for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the butternut squash puree and prepare the fennel slaw.
When ready, remove the pork loin from refrigeration.
Season the pork loin with salt and pepper, and place the seasoned pork loin onto a roasting rack placed atop of a cookie tray
Place the pork loin into a 325F oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until 140F internal temperature is achieved. [Note: If you preferred desired degree of doneness is well-done, cook the pork loin until 155F internal temperature is achieved, approx. 8-10 minute more.]
Next, cut the apples into four equal pieces, vertically.
On an angle, cut away the core and seed section of each apple quarter. Then cut the apples into ½ inch slices.
Heat a medium sauté pan, add the butter, and heat until the butter is melted and hot.
Add the apples to pan and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until apples begin to brown.
Turn over the apples slices, add the brown sugar, and continue sautéing for 2 minutes.
Once the brown sugar has dissolved and the apples are fork tender, remove from the heat and reserve hot for plating.
Once the pork loin is cooked, remove from the oven and allow the pork loin to rest for 5 to 7 minutes. Reserve hot for plating. [Note: You can lightly cover the pork with a layer of aluminum foil as the pork loin rests to maintain desired serving temperature before slicing.]
Place the pecans onto a parchment lined cookie tray and place into a 350F oven.
Toast the pecans for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the pecans are a few shades darker and a nutty aroma is achieved.
Remove from the oven and reserve for later garnish.

2 lbs (1 ea) Butternut Squash
½ cup Heavy Cream
3oz Butter, cubed
1oz Pecans, toasted
3T Brown Sugar
½t Cinnamon
¼t Nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Gather all equipment and ingredients. Wash the butternut squash.
Cut the butternut squash in half, remove the seeds, and place cut side down onto parchment paper lined cookie tray.
Place into a 350F oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the butternut squash is fork tender.
Meanwhile, place the heavy cream, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a stainless steel sauce pot and place over the heat until just warmed through and sugar is dissolved.
Once cooked, remove the butternut squash from the oven and allow to slightly cool for 5 minutes.
Once warm enough to handle, remove the skin from the flesh of the butternut squash.
In batches, place the roasted butternut squash into a food processor and puree until smooth.
Place the pureed butternut squash into a medium sauce pot and place over medium low heat.
Add the butter and cinnamon-infused heavy cream and mix the ingredients until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the toasted pecans and taste to adjust seasoning. Reserve hot for plating.

1 stalk Celery, julienne cut
1 ea Fennel Bulb, julienne cut
½ ea Shallot, peeled, julienne cut
2T Curly Parsley, coarsely chopped
1T Lemon Juice
1T Apple Cider Vinegar
½t Sugar
2T Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

Gather all equipment and ingredients. Wash all produce.
Cut the fennel, celery, shallots, and parsley as specified above. Place cut vegetables into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sugar. Whisk until combined and sugar is dissolved.
While whisking, slowly add the olive oil to emulsify.
Add the cider and lemon juice mixture to the fennel and celery mixture and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate the fennel slaw for at least 45 minutes to allow the flavors to marry and texture of the fennel and celery to be slightly soften from the dressing of the slaw.

The Finished Dish
Cut the pork loin into approx. ½ inch slices.
Place a portion of butternut squash puree onto the center of the plate and top with 2 to 3 slices of pork in a shingled pattern.
Place a slice of apple in three places around the butternut squash puree. Allow the apple slices to leaning against the butternut squash puree.
Next, drizzle the rim of the plate with olive oil and then top the pork with the fennel slaw.
Garnish with toasted pecans and serve immediately.

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