Fennel is one of my absolute favorite vegetables because it's flavor profile makes it incredibly versatile. It's licorice flavor mellows a bit when cooked and pairs so beautifully with the pork. These pork chops are tender, juicy and packed so much flavor thanks to the combo of fennel and juniper seeds.
If you're looking for a really tasty side dish I highly recommend this shaved Brussels sprouts and apple salad. You could also roasted up some broccolini or potatoes, and some roasted apples on top would also be a really delish addition!
If you have trouble finding juniper berries, click here to buy them online. Juniper berries are tart with a bit of a piney flavor and hint of citrus. You'll find they're used a lot to cut through the "gamey" flavor of meat like bison and venison. Because they're really flavor forward, a little goes a long way!
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 12 juniper berries, crushed
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
- Four 1-inch-thick bone-in pork rib chops (12 ounces each)
- Salt Pepper
- 1 fennel bulb with fronds, bulb and fronds coarsely chopped
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the garlic, juniper berries and fennel seeds. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and rub all over with the garlic-juniper oil.
Arrange the pork in a baking dish or place in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chopped fennel and fronds and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the pork from the marinade; discard the marinade.
Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large cast-iron grill pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chops and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the chops for 12 to 14 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a chop registers 140°. Transfer the chops to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve With Grilled young fennel.