The earthy aniseed taste of fennel goes wonderfully well with pork – and here I’ve used both fresh fennel and fennel seeds, too, to deepen the flavours. Fennel is a brilliant vegetable for people with allergies/intolerances/coeliac disease who experience bowel problem because it is rich in phytochemicals, including quercetin which helps inflammatory conditions and high in the compound anethole which acts as an anti-spasmodic, helping to relieve or prevent irritable bowel spasms, as well as being packed with antioxidants to help boost your immune system generally.
* gluten-free, dairy-free, soya-free, egg-free, nut-free, citrus-free
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 750g/1lb 10oz pork fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 fennel bulbs
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 350m/12fl oz/scant 1½ cups gluten-free and dairy-free vegetable or meat stock
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and add the sesame seeds. Dry-fry for 2–3 minutes, stirring continuously, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and grind to a fine powder with a mini food processor or spice mill.
- Trim the leafy fronds off the fennel and leave to one side. Slice each bulb in half lengthways and then slice each half into quarters.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook for 2–3 minutes until the meat browns. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to one side.
- Put the fennel in the pan and cover the pan with a lid and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5–6 minutes until the fennel is starting to brown. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the ground fennel seeds and season lightly with salt and pepper. Return the pork to the pan and pour in the stock. Stir well and and cook, covered, for a 8–10 minutes until the fennel is tender and the pork is cooked through. Serve hot.