Pork tenderloin with fennel and onion jam

October 31, 2010  •  Category:


Lebanon is a small mediterranean country; as such, it is covered with wild fennel. I saw this herb growing in the mountains and on the coastline. It can be made into an infusion or incorporated into all sorts of dishes.

This dish however uses the fennel bulb offered in supermarkets, caramelized in a bit of molasses or honey and a splash of Moscato (or sweet) wine.


  • 1 package of pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 tablespoons of grape molasses or honey
  • 1 cup of sweet wine
  • oil as needed, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of ground cumin


  1. Heat some oil in a pan; season the tenderloin with all the spices and sear on all sides for about five minutes; remove from the pot and add the sliced onion and fennel; fry for 10 to 15 minutes until translucent. Add some molasses and keep frying on very low heat for another 15 minutes.
  2. Place the pork back in the dish. Add a splash of wine and cover the pan until the pork is cooked but still pink inside, about 10 minutes.
  3. Slice and serve with the fennel and onion jam on the side.


31 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Christine @ Fresh says:

    I adore the flavors of fennel and pork together. I like that this recipe highlights the sweet nuances of pork.

  2. SYLVIA says:

    Joumana, you have many signature dishes that I love, they’re stunning, big and sexy. My guests will think they are dining at a five star Lebanese restaurant. This nutritious powerhouse meal doubles as a hearty meal, lean pork has zinc, vitamin B. Fennel is a fabulous fat digester, it’s an excellent diuretic and helps break down fat.

  3. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    I really like the idea of picking wild fennel for your supper. I don’t have any opportunities for wild picking in my everyday situation but I’m happy to say I now have a (potentially) productive garden!

  4. sicoulette says:

    good morning!
    I love fennel, and it is a very strange “coincidence” that I wrote today something about fennel:) have a nice day

  5. sicoulette says:

    just a question, where do you get the pork tenderloin in beirut? I found found a good place.

  6. sicoulette says:

    i meant i never found a good place(you can delete the comment before:) sorry about that:)

  7. Rosa says:

    A fabulous dish and flavor combo! That jam is wonderful.



  8. Diane says:

    This sounds delicious, I like the idea of the addition of the onion. Diane

  9. Nadji says:

    Un mélange d’ingrédients et de saveurs qui n’est pas du tout pour me déplaire.
    Ça doit être délicieux.
    Bonne journée et à bientôt.

  10. Oui, Chef says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE fennel,and must make this jam soon. I bet its great with chicken too! – S

  11. HPD says:

    wild fennel?! i can only wish!

  12. HPD says:

    didja know: that the greek word for fennel is “marathon,” and that this year is the 2,500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon?

  13. Katerina says:

    I love pork tenderloin and I cook it very often with muscat wine. The sweet and sour flavor of is irresistible. This looks very tender and the onions add to its flavor.

  14. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Fennel growing wild? It must smell amazing! I love pork tenderloin in all seasons, but it particularly seems perfect in the Fall.

  15. Devaki says:

    This is such an excellent recipe Joumana – I love how it is so simple and the flavors are tremendous. Have 2 tenderloins in the freezer myself so will make this soon.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  16. Faith says:

    What a great way to prepare fennel! Sounds fantastic accompanied with onion jam.

  17. Barbara says:

    We have oven-roasted fennel at least once a week, Joumana. It looks fabulous with pork. I really must serve pork more often!

  18. Joanne says:

    The flavor of fennel complements pork so nicely! I love how local this ingredient is for you…and wish that I could find it growing in every which way here!

  19. Susan says:

    I’ve only recently discovered how delicious fennel is in the past two years. I am hooked! I love how it compliments pork so well. This is such a delicious dish!

  20. T.W. Barritt says:

    What a nice match with pork – and I love the concentrated flavors of onion jam.

  21. Adelina says:

    I love the fennel addition in pork. I have made an italian version from Giada De Lorentiis. I love the lebanese twist with the added grape molasses. Sounds delightful!

  22. peter says:

    Wonderful dish, bring on the grape molasses. I would also rub the meat with ground fennel seeds to helpp the pork tenferloin along. Tres bon!

  23. Krista says:

    Ohhh, I’m intrigued by that succulent onion jam, Joumana. How lovely that it grows wild over there!! I remember finding a patch growing in a meadow in Italy and my friends thought I was nuts as I pounced upon it in delight, breathing in its heady aroma. 🙂

  24. Nuts about food says:

    Aren’t fennel and pork the best combination? I love it. I posted a recipe for pork and fennel with fig jam a while back…but your onion jam looks amazing…mouthwatering.

  25. Rita says:

    I only ate Lebanese in a restaurant in London and I was fascinated! I also bought a cook book so once in a while I try and cook Lebanese at home, but now that I’ve found this site, I know where I can some inspiration from. By the way, this recipe looks fantastic! And onion jam… mmm… superior!

  26. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    I love how sweet and wonderful fennel gets when caramelized. This looks fantastic.

  27. tobias cooks! says:

    I love this jam. Such a great idea.

  28. Tammy says:

    Another flavorful-sounding dish! I’m jotting the ingredients down. Tomorrow is Memorial Day here in France, so everything’s closed and I’ll be singing in the choir, but Friday’s shopping day, and I’ve a new recipe to try…

  29. grace says:

    onion jam is something i never thought i’d like, but it compliments some things so wonderfully! pork definitely benefits from its presence–great plate!

  30. asia jo says:

    this recipe sounds great and easy – I think I will make it tonight 🙂

  31. Nicolle Fantini says:

    Hey, I haven’t checked in here for a while, but I will put you on my bloglist so I don’t forget to check back.

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