boneless pork shoulder or butt, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
fennel seeds, crushed
kosher salt and black pepper
low-sodium chicken broth
fresh thyme sprigs, plus leaves for serving
sweet potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into 2-inch pieces
small fennel bulbs, quartered, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, for serving
crusty bread, for serving
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the pork with the fennel seeds and 1¼ teaspoons each salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add the broth and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the pork can be pierced with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes and fennel bulbs. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender and the vegetables are soft, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the thyme sprigs.
- Serve the stew sprinkled with the thyme leaves and fennel fronds and with the bread on the side.