Monday, March 7, 2016

braised pork, carrots and fennel stew

No joke- this is one of my most favorite meals.  The ingredients are so fresh and so simple but the flavor is just soooo good.  It reminds me what the family in Pride & Prejudice eats as the family sits around the dining room table.  I made this recipe back in 2013 when it came out in Real Simple magazine and loved it then but lost track of the recipe.  I am so glad I re-discovered it.  I had always made it with sweet potatoes but decided to try carrots this time and loved it.  If you've never tried fennel- try it!  Fennel is a hit at my home because of great recipes like this.

braised pork, carrots and fennel stew (Real Simple magazine, December 2013)
 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed (I omitted)
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
6 fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves for serving
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces (I used a can of sliced carrots; wish I'd used 2 because they were so good!)
2 fennel bulbs, quartered, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, for serving
crusty bread for serving

Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Season the pork with the fennel seeds and 1 1/2 teaspoons each salt and pepper.  Cook, turning occasionally until golden grown on all sides.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add the broth and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the pork can be pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.
Add the sweet potatoes and fennel bulbs.  Cook, covered, until the pork is tender and the vegetables are soft, 15 to 20 minutes more.  Remove the thyme sprigs.
Serve the stew sprinkled with the thyme leaves and fennel fronds and with the bread on the side.


  1. Trying this tonight. It's totally out of my comfort zone...but I'm excited! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. I hope you discover a new love for fennel like I did. Please report back and tell me how you like it- I felt the same when I was about to make it for the first time. I haven't heard from you in sooooo long. Let's get caught up! Sometime soon!!