Recipe courtesy of Chestnut Farms. Their delicious and sustainably sourced meat is available for purchase online. Three area pickup locations available.
1¼ lb. pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4 steaks OR 2 lb. pork cutlets
1 large fennel bulb, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
1 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. fennel seeds
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, plus more for serving
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh cherries
4 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar, divided
Freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, halved lengthwise
½ cup torn basil leaves
Place the cherries in a large, resealable plastic bag and lightly crush with the palm of your hand to extract pits. Tear the cherries into large pieces and transfer to a small bowl. Discard the pits. Add 2 tsp. of the rice vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for serving.
Working one at a time, place the steaks in another large, resealable plastic bag and pound to ¼” thickness. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Lightly beat the eggs and 2 Tbsp. of the mustard in another shallow bowl. Toss together the panko and fennel seeds in a third shallow bowl. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer to the bowl with the egg mixture and turn to coat each side. Lift from the bowl, allowing any excess to drip off. Coat with the panko mixture, pressing to adhere.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches, cook the cutlets, shaking the pan occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt.
Place the fennel in a large bowl. Squeeze half a lemon over the bowl. Cut the remaining lemon half into 4 wedges and set aside for serving. Drizzle fennel with the remaining 2 tsp. of vinegar and season with salt and lots of black pepper. Toss, squeezing once or twice with your hands to help soften the fennel. Add the basil and gently toss again. Divide cutlets among plates and top with fennel salad, fennel fronds and the reserved cherries. Serve with more mustard and reserved lemon wedges. Enjoy!