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Veal Rib Chops with Caramelized Fennel and Figs

1 3/4 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
2 medium fennel bulbs with fronds (about 12 ounces), trimmed, bulbs halved lengthwise, fronds chopped
12 dried black Mission figs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup canned beef broth
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 cup tawny Port
2 8-ounce veal rib chops (each about 1 1/4 inches thick)


Bring chicken broth and fennel bulbs to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in figs and let stand 10 minutes. Strain; reserve liquid, fennel and figs separately. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Transfer fennel bulbs to skillet, cut side down. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until cut side is brown, about 2 minutes. Turn fennel over; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until brown and beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer fennel to 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Add 1/4 cup reserved liquid and pumpkin pie spice to skillet. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits; pour liquid over fennel in baking dish. Place figs between fennel bulbs. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Cover baking dish with foil. Set aside. Combine beef broth, shallot and remaining reserved liquid in heavy small saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. Add Port and simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, about 20 minutes. (Fennel-fig mixture and Port sauce can be made 2 hours ahead; let stand at room temperature.) Preheat oven to 350F. Bake fennel until very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven; keep covered. Maintain oven temperature. Sprinkle veal with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook veal until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to oven. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of veal chop registers 150F, about 8 minutes. Transfer veal to 2 plates. Top with baked fennel-fig mixture. Bring Port sauce to simmer; add remaining 3 tablespoons butter and whisk just until melted. Season sauce with salt and pepper; pour over veal. Garnish with fennel fronds.

Source: www.epicurious.com