Niçoise olives hail from Provence and add a mellow nuttiness to this French stew; be sure to warn diners, though, that these olives are unpitted. You can substitute pitted kalamata olives, if desired--they'll add a sharper flavor.
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
4 cups sliced fennel bulb (about 2 bulbs)
3 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion (about 2 large)
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
3 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup niçoise olives
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add fennel and onion; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Spoon fennel mixture into a large bowl.
Place flour in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Dredge pork in flour, shaking off excess. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add half of pork mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned pork to fennel mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining pork mixture, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in pork mixture, broth, herbes de Provence, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until pork is just tender.
Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and olives. Simmer 10 minutes or until pork is tender and sauce is thick. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
This is a great recipe. A recipe is only as good as the chef's ability to season to taste because everyone is different and the ability to select and use quality ingredients. If the Herbs de Provence are not fresh it can make or break a dish. And, pitting olives is not that difficult nor time consuming, it just takes a little practice. : )
I absolutely love this recipe. I've been making it for years, and I pretty much make it exactly as the recipe calls for. Made it tonight for my boyfriend for the first time, and he loved it! He kept saying how complex the flavors are. I will definitely make it again. Tonight we just had it with some oven-baked broccoli coated in herbs. Delish! I highly recommend - great for guests or just for home - we have a ton of leftovers and I'm excited to eat it again tomorrow!
I actually made this in my slow cooker. I sauteed the veggies and browned the meat, then threw it on low in the slow cooker with all other ingredients during the day. Meat was nice and tender. I made fresh breadsticks to go with it, and the breadsticks definitely made the meal great. Would absolutely recommend serving this with a nice bread, because it needs it.
I was disappointed in this recipe. Expected to love it as I love fennel and olives. But, in my opinion, the recipe is bland. Plus, it is nearly impossible to find pitted nicoise olives and doing it yourself is quite time intensive. Not a terrible recipe, just nothing special.
Good recipe to make using some ingredients I don't incorporate frequently. Tasted nice for the short amount of cooking time. Only problem I ran into is the recipe as written is way too much for a 5 Qt Dutch Oven. I initially planned to halve the recipe but did not because I thought it could affect the taste. Ended up making in two batches anyway because not doing so would have filled my pot to the brim. If just making for two eaters, halving the recipe is plenty and still tasted great.
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