Pork Chops with Braised Cabbage

Is there a more perfect combo than pork and cabbage? Usually the cabbage comes in the form of sauerkraut, but it is just as easily braised in a little stock with some sliced onions and seasonings. We used celery seeds and caraway seeds which work beautifully with the cabbage and pork. By the way, are you aware that the USDA has officially lowered the recommended internal temperature for cooked pork? It’s now 145°F, meaning US raised pork can now sport a little pink on the inside without causing worry.

Pork Chops with Braised Cabbage Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

We used large, bone-in pork chops for this recipe, but any style pork chop—thick or thin, bone-in or boneless—will work. Note that the ultimate cooking time may depend on if you are using pork chops taken directly from the fridge or chops that have been allowed to come closer to room temperature before cooking. Thin chops you can take directly from the refrigerator. Thick chops should probably sit out for a bit before cooking.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons bacon fat, butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced 1/4-inch, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch wide slices
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1/2 cup stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable) or water
  • 1 Tbsp mustard, preferably Dijon
  • 1 Tbsp malt or cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp bacon fat or high smoke point vegetable oil such as canola oil
  • 4 pork chops

Method

1 Cook the cabbage first. Heat the bacon fat (or butter or vegetable oil) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring only occasionally, until the edges of the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle salt over the onions as they cook. Add the sliced cabbage and toss to combine. Cook for a minute or two, then add the celery seed, caraway, and stock. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered for 10 minutes.

2 After 10 minutes, remove from heat, but leave the cover on the pan. Wait another 5 minutes, then uncover the pan and mix in the mustard and vinegar. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

3 As soon as you cover the cabbage pan in step 1, heat a tablespoon of bacon fat or oil in a cast iron frying pan on medium high heat. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them with salt and lay them in the pan, working in batches if necessary as to not crowd the pan.

Tip: Place the chops in the pan so that the thickest, boniest parts are near the center of the pan where they get the most heat.

As soon as the chops are nicely browned on one side, about 2 minutes or so, flip them and sear them on the other side. If your pork chops are less than 3/4-inch thick, and you are using a cast iron pan, once the chops are seared on the second side, remove the pan from heat and let the chops sit in the hot pan until cooked through (you can use the finger test to check for the doneness of the meat). If you are not using a cast iron pan, just remove the pan from heat and cover the pan for a few minutes until the chops are done.

If your chops are thicker than 3/4-inch, and you are using a cast iron pan, remove the pan from heat and cover it, letting the chops finish cooking for about 5 minutes. If not using a cast iron pan, keep the chops covered on low heat for another 5 minutes after searing.

4 Remove the chops from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve alongside the cabbage.

Links:

Sweet and Sour Cabbage, Apples and Pork Chops - from The Kitchn

Baked Cabbage with Braised Pork - from Cookin' with Cyndi

USDA Revises Recommended Cooking Temperature for All Whole Cuts of Meat, Including Pork, to 145 °F

 

15 Comments

  1. Dawn

    Looks great – I am going to try cooking this without fat (dietary issues). I think this might also qualify as low carb for your recipe tags? Thanks for the idea!

  2. Di-Di Hoffman

    Wholeheartedly agree with pork and cabbage being a perfect combo. And your addition of caraway, celery and mustard will make this a perfect 10.

  3. Carol

    I like to crumb pork chops and they stay moist on the inside and crisp on the outside. Also like to add just a bit of potato to the cabbage and a blob of butter and black pepper. Yum. Delicious!

  4. Penny

    Hey Elise, why bother with the chops? The cabbage was divine, although I do admit to rending the pork fat along with a bit of bacon fat to start (happy face). What a wonderful combo, a certain favourite I will make again and again. Thanks for the tips for lesser chops the thicker ones are hard to find these days.

  5. Teri

    what do you mean by “cook cabbage first”? do you mean to parboil the cabbage first, because then you say to heat the fat and add the onion to which you add the cabbage.
    confused,
    teri

  6. franky

    about the 145F for pork, used to be >160F because 50 or so years ago there were parasites in pork. However, these critters die at 137F, which is where i pull the pork from the grill or the oven.

    Great photo Elise, I could eat it off the screen :]

  7. A Turrentine

    Thanks for cabbage idea. Never thought boiled had much to recommend it. Didn’t have celery seed but substituted fennel seed. Got rave reviews and requests for seconds.

  8. george

    I made it yesterday and it was delicious I recommend it for others to try it.It was very light and the cabbage tasted fresh although it was cooked.

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