- 1 cup sugar
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 (2-pound) pork loin
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cups thinly sliced fennel (about 1 large bulb)
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 8 ounces French bread or other firm white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded fontina cheese
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds
- calories 316
- caloriesfromfat 30 %
- fat 10.6 g
- satfat 3.8 g
- monofat 4.6 g
- polyfat 1 g
- protein 28.2 g
- carbohydrate 25.8 g
- fiber 3.1 g
- cholesterol 68 mg
- iron 2.4 mg
- sodium 790 mg
- calcium 97 mg
How to Make It
Combine sugar, water, and salt in a large bowl, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Add pork; cover and brine 2 hours to overnight in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced fennel, onion, and 2 garlic cloves; cook until golden brown (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup broth; cook until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add remaining broth; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
Combine bread and fennel mixture. Stir in cheese. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until golden brown.
While bread pudding bakes, rinse pork and pat dry. Combine fennel seeds, 2 garlic cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub evenly over pork.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pork to pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Place skillet in oven; bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140° (slightly pink). Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve bread pudding with pork.