It feels like we have been gone for a long, long time. The winter has overtaken us… beat us into submission and stolen our kitchen creativity. Sometimes, I dream about vegetables (that aren’t roots) and days when we can pick blueberries and eat fresh tomatoes. Plus, things have been mighty busy around the wicked whisk household. Of course, all of these thoughts are really just excuses for not blogging lately. There are still plenty of delicious winter cooking options out there.
Take this dish, a slow braise of local pork and in-season cabbage. Braising is a wonderful winter cooking technique. Since you are in the house for long periods of time, you don’t mind having the oven on and cooking something for hours. Meats get so tender that they practically melt in your mouth. Most of the cooking work is done at the beginning. And braising is very forgiving. If something simmers for an extra 20 minutes, it’s only going to be more delicious. It helps build in a little buffer for the spouse that leaves the office late or gets caught in traffic on the way home.
Pork chops and cabbage are a wonderful, soul warming pairing. The chops are browned first to give them a nice depth of flavor. The cabbage is cooked with wine, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds before the two components are simmered together to let their flavors mingle. While the pork chops are resting, the cabbage is finished with some heavy cream. You will be disappointed when there are no leftovers.
Braised Pork Chops with Creamy Cabbage
Adapted from All About Braising
2 thick cut pork chops, about 2 1/4 lbs total
all-purpose flour, for dredging
3 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbls butter
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
2 medium shallots
1/2 small head green cabbage
1/2 cup dry white wine
2/3 cup water
1 tbls cider vinegar
1 small chicken bouillon cube, crushed
1/4 cup heavy cream
Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge each chop in flour, tapping to knock off the excess. Add the extra-virgin olive oil to a large pot or Dutch oven(with a lid) that has been heated on the stove top over medium high heat. Brown the pork chops for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the pork chops to a plate. Add in the butter and wait until melted. Add in the caraway seeds and mustard seeds. The mustard seeds will pop everywhere, be careful! Stir frequently for about 1 minute while dodging the flying mustard seeds. Add in the shallot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add in the white wine and boil for a few minutes. Add in the cabbage cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. The cabbage should be wilted, but not completely limp.
Add the water, the bouillon cube, and the cider vinegar. Stir until everything is combined. Place the browned pork chops on top of the cabbage, pouring in any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Put the lid on the pot and reduce the heat until the liquid gently simmers. Let it cook for 30 minutes, turning once, or until the pork chops are cooked through.
Remove the pork chops to either a cutting board or their final destination plates. Cover with foil so they stay warm while they rest. Stir in the cream and boil for about 5 minutes.
Serve immediately. Serves about 4.