Braised Sausage and Fennel with Toasted Spices

Caregory : Dinner Ideas

With whole pink peppercorns and fennel seeds, this simple braise is gently perfumed and aromatic with fresh spring flavors inspired by the braised fennel at Red Hook Tavern in Brooklyn, from chef Allison Plumer. Use a fresh, spicy sausage here to complement the creamy bean puree and sweet fennel.


    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

    • 6 hot Italian sausage links, pricked with a fork

    • 2 large (13-ounce) fennel bulbs, cut in half lengthwise, cores removed, bulbs cut into 1-inch wedges, fronds reserved

    • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds

    • 4 teaspoons pink peppercorns

    • 2 cups chicken stock or lower-sodium chicken broth

    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    • 1 cup hummus

    • Lemon zest and lemon wedges, for garnish


    1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a straight-sided 14-inch skillet over medium-high. Add sausages; cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausages to a plate. Add fennel wedges, cut sides down, to skillet; cook until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes and 30 seconds per side. Transfer to plate with sausages.

    2. Add fennel seeds, peppercorns, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet; cook over medium-high, stirring constantly, until toasted and fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove half of the spice mixture from skillet, and reserve for garnish.

    3. Add stock to skillet, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet to loosen browned bits. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. Return sausages and fennel wedges to skillet; cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until fennel wedges are tender, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.

    4. Spread hummus smoothly on a platter. Top with sausages and fennel wedges; spoon sauce from skillet over platter. Garnish with lemon zest, lemon wedges, reserved fennel fronds, and reserved spice mixture.


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