There’s a reason why fennel pairs so well with everything from pork and fish to apples. Its sweet anise flavor elevates everything around it and fills the kitchen with a smell you just can’t beat. In this dish, both fennel seed and sautéed fresh fennel bring big flavor to simple pork chops.
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Lightly crush the fennel seed in a mortar and pestle or with the bottom of a small skillet. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in 2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Season the pork chops with 3 tsp. of the spice mixture.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Stir in the fresh fennel, 1/2 cup of the broth, and the remaining spice mixture. Cover the skillet, increase the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel begins to soften and brown, 8 to 10 minutes (reduce the heat if the fennel browns too quickly).
Uncover, reduce the heat to medium, and add the remaining 1/4 cup broth and 2 Tbs. of the parsley. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits, until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining parsley and the fronds, season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to a medium bowl.
Wipe out the pan, add the oil, and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook, turning once with tongs, until well browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. (To check for doneness, make a small cut near the bone and look inside.the pork should still have a hint of pinkness.) Serve the pork chops with the fennel.
An Arugula, Mint & Apple Salad with Walnuts & Buttermilk Dressing starts the meal off right.
We make this at least once a month if not every other week. We do add garlic and wine, but the basic recipe is the same - brilliant!
I had tried bulb fennel several years ago, and didn't care for it. This recipe made me adore it! This is one of my go- to recipes now. I have also substituted chicken breasts for the pork. Last night I added a splash of chardonnay to the broth. Amazing recipe- thank you!
I made this dish pretty much as written - except no parsley & half the salt. I'll make it again. Next, I'll broil the chops while I prepare the fennel. Then, I'll try re-heating the fennel in the an with the pork chop favorings. Either way, I'll have the fennel warmer at serving time.
This is one of my favorite pork chop recipes. The fennel is wonderful--make extra!
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