One pan is all you need to make this fast braise of juicy pork chops and tender fennel. Bonus: The braising liquid turns into a delicious sauce that you’ll want to sop up with 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), stalks removed and discarded
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
- 3 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
- 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
- Trim the top and bottom of the fennel bulb and cut it in half through the core. Cut each half lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices; set aside.
- Place the measured salt and pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels, then sprinkle on all sides with the paprika mixture; set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan with a tightfitting lid over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the pork chops and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 6 to 7 minutes total. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the reserved fennel, onion, garlic, thyme, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the fennel begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the 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, nestling the chops in the fennel. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the chops are firm and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°F, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pork chops to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and let rest.
- Increase the heat to medium and simmer the sauce, uncovered, until reduced by about a third and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add the mustard, zest, and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Serve the sauce alongside the pork chops and fennel.