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Sweet-and-Sour Pork Chops with Pickled Fennel

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 109

Here, pickled fennel brightens up a simple weeknight pork chop supper. You'll need to prepare the fennel and refrigerate for three days before using. The tangy flavor boost is completely worth it, so plan ahead. 

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice; more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops (about 2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 pint Pickled Fennel with Mustard and Peppercorns 

In a small bowl, mix the orange juice and sugar until dissolved.

Season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chops on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Add the orange juice mixture to the skillet, lower the heat to medium, and cook, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon, for about 1 minute. Add the chops and their juice, turn to coat with the sauce, and cook, basting occasionally, until nearly done (they’ll feel firm when poked with a finger), about 4 minutes. If the sauce evaporates, add a bit more orange juice.

With tongs, pull the pickled fennel from the jar and add it to the pan, leaving the liquid behind. Cook until the pork reaches 145°F. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Sautéed Spinach with Shallots or Sautéed Swiss Chard makes the perfect side for this dish.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 500; Fat (g): fat g 35; Fat Calories (kcal): 310; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 29; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 16; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 18; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 430; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 105; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I liked this easy dish very much..the pickled fennel is wonderful, and I quickly doubled the recipe for it...it is wonderful inside pannini also

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