Choose good-quality, non-factory-farmed pork, on the bone or boneless, as you prefer. What’s important is to have a nice layer of fat; ask the butcher not to remove too much. If you live in an area where fennel grows wild, collect a few feathery fronds. Otherwise use the fronds from cultivated fennel.
Turn the pork roast upside down and insert the garlic slices into the loose flesh. Sprinkle the roast with the fennel seeds and black pepper. Season the meat generously with salt and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Strip the leaves from a rosemary sprig or two, chop them roughly, and sprinkle them over the pork. Massage the seasoning into the roast.
Line a roasting pan with rosemary sprigs and fennel fronds. Set the roast on top. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two, or, better, overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the loin for about an hour (about 45 minutes for a boneless roast), until the internal temperature reads 130°F. For a smokier flavor, cook the roast outside over coals to the same interior temperature. Remove the roast, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
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