This recipe was yummy. I served it over basmati rice and my husband loved it! I too left out the fennel (neither one of us like it), and used stewed tomatoes instead of sauce. I seasoned the chops prior to cooking and left everything else exactly as the recipe said. It will be on my new menu rotation!
I would like to add that if the pork is tough, it was probably frozen prior to cooking. Freezing meat denatures the protein of the meat and makes it tough. I suggest that for the most tender and flavorful dishes, use fresh meat. This is especially true for steaks, roasts, chicken breasts and chops (solid cuts of meat).