- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Four 12-ounce pork rib chops, cut 1 1/4 inches thick
- 1 fennel bulb-halved, cored and sliced paper-thin on a mandoline
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup dried large white beans, such as butterbeans, gigantes or cannellini, soaked overnight and drained
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 carrot, halved
- 1 celery rib, halved
- 1 small onion, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Madras curry powder
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons demiglace (see Note)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 8 ounces dandelion greens, trimmed (2 cups)
How to make this recipe
In a small bowl, stir the fennel seeds and minced garlic into the 1/4 cup of olive oil. In a glass baking dish, rub the fennel seed oil over the pork chops. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In a bowl, toss the sliced fennel with the rice vinegar and a generous pinch of the crushed red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper and refrigerate overnight.
Drain the soaking beans. In a large saucepan, cover the beans, ham hock, carrot, celery rib and onion with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Let the beans cool in the liquid, then drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Discard the vegetables and ham hock.
Light a grill. In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, celery salt, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture all over the pork chops. Grill over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the beans, a few tablespoons of their cooking liquid and the beef demiglace and cook over moderately low heat until the beans are warm and nicely glazed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley.
Toss the dandelion greens with the fennel and drizzle with olive oil. Mound the salad in the center of 4 plates and top with a pork chop. Spoon the beans alongside, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
Demiglace is a stock that is reduced to a syrupy consistency and is often the secret to a good restaurant sauce. D'Artagnan makes an excellent demiglace that is available in specialty food shops and from amazon.com.