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  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    You need to master one meal. For your dating prospects, your friends, and yourself. It should be broadly appealing and allow for early prep so you can throw it in the oven and hang out with your guests. Our pick: pork loin stuffed with fennel and prosciutto.

    Jacob Baynham

    What you’ll need to begin:
    3 slices whole-wheat bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
    1 medium fennel bulb, stalks removed, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 packet prosciutto (4-ounce)
    1 4-pound boneless pork loin (or two smaller ones)
    1/2 medium Granny Smith apple, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1/2 stick butter
    Finely chopped rosemary leaves
    Fennel seeds
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Put the bread into a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Remove to a bowl.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Put the fennel, apple, and onion into the food processor and pulse into a paste. Then melt the butter in a pan and fry the fennel mixture until soft, about 15 minutes. Season with 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir into breadcrumbs.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Butterfly the pork loin. Cut into it lengthwise, almost slicing it in half but leaving a thickness of a 1/2-inch of meat. Then press it open, like a book, and slice leftward from the seam, maintaining a 1/2-inch thickness. Continue until flattened and repeat on the other side.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Smear the fennel mixture on the meat, leaving a 1.5-inch border.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Layer the prosciutto horizontally, then roll into a tight cylinder and tie with several lengths of kitchen twine.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Rub the pork in olive oil and sprinkle with a mixture of 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds (crushed with the bottom of a frying pan), 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Place in a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Set pork on a middle rack and roast until light golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Lower heat to 375 degrees, rotate baking sheet, and cook for another 30 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork reads 145 degrees.

  • Photo: Jacob Baynham

    Wait 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with a rustic loaf of bread and a dry Riesling.

  • Start over
    Next Up: Master this Meal: The Ultimate Pork Loin

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