I’m adding a new category to the blog today: de arte copulandi vinorum…
Photos by Tracie P.
1 bulb fennel, washed and trimmed
2 cloves garlic, peeled
extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 porter house pork chops, about ½ inch thick
Slice the fennel vertically into rounds about ¼ inch thick.
In a wide sauté pan, heat 3 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. When smoke begins to rise from the pan, add 1 clove garlic. When the garlic has begun to brown, add the fennel rounds, sprinkle with salt, and brown on both sides.
Deglaze with ½ cup white wine. When the alcohol has evaporated, add ½ cup chicken stock and simmer over low heat until the cooking liquids have reduced by half. Transfer the fennel to a mixing bowl, discard the garlic, filter the sauce using a fine strainer, and add the sauce to the bowl. Reserve.
Preheat oven to 200° F.
Gently season the pork chops with salt on both sides.
Add 3 tbsp. olive oil to the same pan used to braise the fennel and brown the remaining garlic clove over high heat. Add the pork chops and brown on both sides (n.b.: it’s important to brown the pork quickly over high heat; they don’t need to cook through).
Once browned on both sides, transfer the pork chops to an oven-ready dish and cover with aluminum foil; transfer to the pre-heated oven.
In the meantime, add the remaining wine to the pan over medium heat. When the alcohol has evaporated, add the remaining stock, the reserved fennel and its sauce, and reduce to desired consistency. Remove the fennel from the pan and reserve and then filter the sauce using a fine strainer (n.b.: in the time that it takes you to reduce the sauce, the pork chops will have cooked through).
Arrange the pork chops on a serving dish and then top with the braised fennel and sauce.
The tannin of the skin-contact, amphora-aged Vitovska was ideal with the fatty, juicy chops and its nutty fruit flavors the perfect complement to the sweetness and tang of the fennel.
Buon weekend, yall!