Combining two of my favorite foods-- olives and pork-- along with the complementary flavors of fennel and orange is the best of everything in my world. I often buy pork shoulder still on the bone; it's less expensive, and I can cut the meat to my liking and then add the bone to the stew, which adds more delicious porky flavor to the finished product. I also make sure to buy organic or pesticide-free oranges since I definitely don't want to be eating anything but pure, clean zest. —vvvanessa
Test Kitchen Notes
The pork turns soft and succulent, braising in this sauce of wine and chicken stock. The topping of fennel and orange zest offers a sweet citrus crunch to the mix. Serve with bread, better to sop up all the flavorful liquid. —AndreaLynn
2 1/2 pounds
pork shoulder/butt cut into 1" cubes
medium carrot, diced
medium yellow or white onion, diced
ribs of celery, diced
medium bulb of fennel, sliced and fronds reserved
dry white wine
large, green, mild, fruity olives like cerignola or castelvetrano
In a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Brown the cubes of meat, working in batches to keep meat in a single layer. Remove cubes to a plate as they are ready.
Raise heat to medium-high. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté carrot, onion, celery, and bay leaf until just tender, about 6 minutes, working to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add fennel and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add in wine, stock, meat, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 60-90 minutes or until meat is very tender.
While stew cooks, zest the oranges with a fine zester, taking care not to include any of the white pith; set zest aside.
Juice the oranges; add juice to the stew, stir, and leave it to continue cooking.
Pit and halve the olives. Mince 6 whole olives and combine them with 2 tablespoons finely minced fennel fronds and half of the orange zest, approximately 1 teaspoon. Set the garnish aside.
When stew is ready, turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf. Stir in olives and remaining orange zest. Adjust seasoning.
Serve stew hot with a sprinkle of the fennel-orange-olive garnish.