Serious Eats: Recipes

Mario Batali's Pork Chops with Fennel Seed and White Wine

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Adapted from Mario Batali

Why I Picked This Recipe: Most recipes for pork chops try to bathe them in some kind of sticky, sweet sauce, so I was interested to see what could be done with just a few ingredients. In particular, I wanted to see what ground fennel could do to such a big hunk of pork.

What Worked: Where should I begin? Searing the chops over high heat and then finishing them off in a moderate oven ensures that each chop has a great crust along with a juicy interior. Though only a little bit of ground fennel seed is sprinkled on top, it makes a big impression, lightening up the sauce while also making it aromatic.

What Didn't: No complaints on the actual pork chops.

Suggested Tweaks: The only suggestions I have are for sides to help bulk this out into a meal. Since this calls for using fresh fennel fronds, I also cooked the fennel bulbs and served them on the side. Here's a good tutorial for preparing them. I also served the chops with broccoli, though I imagine some potatoes would also be great.

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