Pork and Fennel Braise

I winged this one early evening several weeks ago, inspired I think by a picture in a Jamie Oliver book for a different recipe. This is my attempt to remember what I did. The results were quite nice, with the fennel almost melting and the pork roast cooked inside a blanket of a kind of stuffing.

2 slices white italian or farm bread
1/2 cup black olives
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 or 3 fennel bulbs, cut into eighths
2 garlic cloves
1.5 to 2 lb pork roast
1/2 cup dry white wine (more or less… I sometimes use more)

Preheat oven to 310 F. Peel your 2 garlic cloves and slice into slivers. With the tip of a sharp knife, poke holes around your pork roast and tuck the garlic slivers inside. In a dutch oven, heat up some olive oil on high heat and sear the pork on all sides for a minute or so each, then remove and turn off heat.

Place the fennel bulb pieces in the bottom of the dutch oven, leaving a bit of a dip in the middle to hold the roast.

In a food processor, pulse up the bread, olives, walnuts, fennel seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Take this paste and thickly coat the pork roast with it, then place the roast on top of the fennel, and pour the white wine around. Grind some salt and pepper on the fennel, cover, and pop in the oven for a slow cook. After an hour, flip the roast carefully so you don’t wreck the coating, and gently stir the fennel. Continue checking the pan and stirring the fennel every 30 minutes or so. If it is dry at the bottom of the dutch oven, add a little more white wine or water. Cooking time will depend on the size of the roast, but expect 2 or 3 hours (I usually check by testing firmness of the roast).