Pork, fennel and apples were meant to be together.
For the fennel
3 medium (150g-200g each) fennel bulbs, trimmed and halved lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the pork
800g free-range pork fillet
1/2 cup tart apple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the fennel and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and pepper in a bowl and toss with the fennel to coat. Place in an oven dish and roast for 30 minutes or until tender and golden.
Place the pork fillet in a dish and pour the apple syrup over to coat well. Cover and leave to marinate for 1 hour. Remove the pork, reserving the apple syrup.
Rub the olive oil over the pork. Heat an ovenproof frying pan to hot. Add the pork and sear for 20 seconds on each side until brown.
Remove from the heat and sprinkle the pork all over with the paprika and salt, and rub in using the back of a spoon or tongs. Pour the reserved apple syrup over. Place the pork in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the pork and arrange on 6 warmed plates with a piece of fennel each and drizzle with the pan juices.
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Gusto Tart Apple Syrup is intensely flavoured because it is concentrated from a large quantity of apples. It can be used for sweet and savoury dishes and is a natural pairing with beautiful free-range pork fillets.
Orcona paprika is made in Hawke's Bay so it comes very fresh, has a fruity flavour and is coarsely ground, giving a very attractive appearance. If you are using imported smoked paprika, use half the quantity.