A skillet is all you need to make this quick braise of juicy pork chops and tender fennel. Bonus: The braising liquid turns into a delicious sauce that you’ll want to drizzle over a piece of crusty bread.
This recipe was featured as part of our Fall Ingredients photo gallery.
- Yield: 3 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: About 40 mins
- 1 medium fennel bulb (about 12 ounces), stems removed and discarded
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed
- 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
- 3 bone-in pork loin chops (1 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Cut off the top and bottom of the fennel bulb and halve it through the heart. Cut each half lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; put aside.
- Place the measured salt and pepper and 1/2 tsp paprika in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towel, then sprinkle all sides with the paprika mixture; put aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet with a tight fitting lid over medium-high heat until simmering. Add the pork chops and sear until browned on both sides, about 6-7 minutes total. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the reserved fennel, onion, garlic, thyme and the remaining 1/4 tsp paprika to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the fennel begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth and vermouth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices to the pan, embedding the chops in the fennel. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chops are firm and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 140°F, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove pork chops to a plate, cover with foil and let rest.
- Increase heat to medium and simmer sauce, uncovered, until reduced by about a third and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, add the mustard, lemon zest and juice, then mix. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve the sauce with the pork chops and fennel.