Wednesday, February 22, 2017

One-Pan Pork-Sausage-Cabbage Saute (a.k.a. Pseudo-Choucroute)

This dish, inspired by the fact that I had in the fridge half a cabbage, half a red onion, some Dijon mustard packets from the cafeteria at work (because, gentle reader, I am now gainfully employed!), and three sausages of different types left over from dinner at a German restaurant (where I could afford to eat, because I am now gainfully employed!), is kind of like an Ignorant American Fusion take on choucroute—except that uses sauerkraut, which is a bit much. It’s very easy and quick and takes only, as you may have gathered from the post title, one pan. Even factoring in the time it took to grocery-shop for the pork chops, I had everything ready within about an hour of returning from my place of gainful employment. (Did I mention I am now gainfully employed, gentle reader?)

This would serve 3 or 4 people, but of course I made it for 2. There were leftovers. Lots of leftovers. Sandwiches will be had.

Start by melting 2-3 Tbsp. butter and a splash of olive oil over medium heat in a large wide pan, then adding 3 packets of Dijon mustard, about 1 Tbsp kosher salt, pinches of cumin and paprika, and a very wee pinch of cinnamon (these spices are negotiable).

Drop in 2 to 2 ½ pounds of thin-cut bone in pork chops (about 4 big chops), turn the heat up to medium-high, and brown on both sides.

Remove the pork to a plate and add some kielbasa-type sausage sliced into coins, I had like 3 links’ worth. Brown this and remove it to another plate.

Lower the heat to medium and add ½ red onion, loosely diced. Cook for about a minute, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon; then add ½ a cabbage, loosely chopped; whatever juices have run off the pork; and about 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (err on the side of less, you can always add more). Stir this till the cabbage softens a bit, adjusting seasoning as needed—I added another mustard packet—then mix in the sausage.

Push the mixture to the side of the pan, add 2 of the pork chops, cover them with the mixture, and then add the other 2 chops to the other half of the pan and spread out the cabbage mixture to cover all the pork. This isn’t an exact science, the point is you just want the chops in contact with the pan surface and the cabbage covering them so the meat cooks through without the cabbage getting all wilty.

Sprinkle some thyme leaves on top (optional). Turn off the heat and let it all rest for a few minutes. Then plate it with the pork atop the cabbage mixture,—perhaps with boiled potatoes tossed in butter and parsley (kinda keeping with the choucroute vibe), or, as I did, with a loaf of crusty bread and some melted garlic butter.

This was a delicious and hearty meal, and easy to throw together—and even blog about afterward—after a long day of... wait for it ... gainful employment!

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