Pork chops with fennel and potatoes is a substantial, rustic dish for a winter meal, quickly ready and left to cook slowly in the oven.
- 4 pork chops 1lb 10oz (700g) potatoes
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 4 small or
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 31⁄2oz (100g) bacon
- 1 glass white wine
Directions: heat the oven to 350°F (170°C). Trim excess fat from the chops. Slice the potatoes and onion very thinly. Arrange half of the potatoes and onion in an ovenproof dish that will maintain the chops in one layer and season them. Rub the fennel seeds into the chops on each side, brown the chops in the oil, and put them on top of the potatoes. Stuff some of the garlic close to the bone of each chop. Cover with the remaining potatoes and onion, season, and spread the bacon over the top. Pour over the wine over the top. Put 2 layers of foil or wax paper over the top before putting on the lid. Bake in the oven for about 3 hours. There will be a large amount of fat so it would be best to drain this off before serving. A salad of finely sliced fennel dressed with oil and lemon juice would be an excellent accompaniment.
Variation: use 2 sage leaves for each chop as a substitute of fennel seeds and press them onto both sides of the meat after browning. Serve with a watercress salad.