Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3½ and grease a large roasting dish with butter.
To make the boulanger potatoes, layer the potatoes, ham, onions and garlic in the dish, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with thyme, then pour in enough stock to cover, then cover with kitchen foil and bake for 2 hours, until soft.
To make the fennel, heat the oil in an ovenproof pan over a medium heat and fry the fennel to brown it. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with sugar, then pour in the ham stock, cover and bake for an hour.
Remove from the oven and reduce the liquid over a medium heat, then glaze the fennel in the reduction.
To make the crumbs, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Toast the crumbs for a few minutes until golden, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Drain on kitchen paper than mix with the parsley.
Spoon some of the potatoes onto a plate, serve the fennel alongside and top with some crumbs.
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