I chose this recipe because I had a big head of cabbage in my refrigerator just staring at me, and I didn't have anything specific planned with which to use it. There's always coleslaw (which I may still make this weekend with what I have left!) but I wanted something warm and comforting to contrast the cold spell we've had this week. I also had an abundance of pork chops in the freezer that were on sale last week, so this recipe suited both well! I searched on the Everyday Food website, because I had made something similar from that show in the past few months with pork and cabbage that was pretty decent, and I found this Braised Pork and Cabbage recipe. I remembered the other recipe called for milk, which I didn't have, so that was out (here's a link to that recipe: Pork Chops with Bacon and Cabbage).
So... I squared off with my huge head of cabbage and shredded it, 4 cups to be exact. The recipe calls for cole slaw mix, which is simply shredded cabbage and carrots that have been bagged. Everyday Food suggests 4 cups of shredded cabbage mixed with 2 cups of shredded carrots to equal the 1 pound package you can buy, but I definitely thought there were too many carrots. And I love carrots! If I make this again, I would reduce the amount of carrots to one cup. I used my food processor to shred the carrots, but I didn't like how finely it was shredding my cabbage, so I chopped that up on the cutting board by hand.
I really liked how the potatoes were sliced in this dish (whole small red potatoes are sliced 1/4 inch thick); they had nice texture and cooked quickly. We have a family recipe that I like to make at least once a year that consists of sauerkraut, smoked sausage, bacon, potatoes, apple, and red potatoes. It's delicious! This recipe reminded me of that family recipe a bit because they both include caraway seeds, but I usually cut the potatoes into chunks and it has to simmer for a while to fully cook them. I may slice them 1/4 inch thick next time, it was a nice change.
I am glad I waited to post this until we ate some of the leftovers tonight (I prepared this two nights ago), because I enjoyed it more the 2nd time. Wednesday night, I thought it was good, but definitely a unique flavor. I enjoy the tartness that cider vinegar adds to a dish (I used unfiltered cider vinegar from Trader Joe's), but 3/4 cup is a lot of vinegar! Next time, I would cut the amount of vinegar by at least a third and replace it with more water or chicken stock. After eating it tonight, it reminded me of an episode of Giada deLaurentis' show I had seen about "Day Ahead Dishes" (I can't remember if it was Everyday Italian or Giada at Home). She made several dishes that could be prepared the day before, such as chicken simmered with peppers and onions, then simply warmed up on the stove the next day and served, even in the same pot! She explained how it gave the chance for the flavors to really combine, like how a great chili can taste even better the next day. I think this might be the same scenario for this Braised Pork and Cabbage, my husband and I both remarked that the flavors were better tonight. Overall, I would make this again with a few small changes, but I don't think this would be a recipe I'd reach for on a regular basis. Even though this recipe was from March 2004, there was a short video on the website: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/braised-pork-and-cabbage.
If you've tried it, let me know what you think!
Braised Pork and Cabbage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 well-trimmed bone-in rib pork chops, 8 ounces each
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 package (1 pound) coleslaw mix
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
- 3/4 pound small red potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- In a Dutch oven (5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Generously sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove pork.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining tablespoon oil, onion, coleslaw mix, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage has wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Raise heat to high. Add vinegar, caraway seeds, and 1 1/4 cups water; bring to a boil. Add potatoes, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook until cabbage and potatoes are almost tender, about 20 minutes.
- Return pork to pot; cover, and continue cooking until pork is just cooked through and potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.
From Everyday Food, March 2004