Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pork Roast w/ Braised Red Cabbage

I'm officially done with culinary school! 

I can't say how happy I am to be done.  It's a big relief and a bundle of emotions all in one.  I can focus on a career path and live life!  Not to mention, spend more time on this blog!

Anyway, I have a month before graduation, and I'll be taking full advantage of my newly appointed free time.  I've given my notice at Jack Fry's and will be taking on a full time position at my internship restaurant, Milkwood.  It was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I feel that I need to experience new things, and I LOVE working at Milkwood - and I truly feel that I could advance faster there than I would at the other.  I gotta do what's best for me, right?  Right.

Yesterday was my last day of school and I celebrated by making this delicious dinner for Andy and I!  He was kind of hesitant about the cabbage, but I think with the added sweetness of the apples, he was on board after the first bite!  After all, he did clean his plate, so it can't be that bad!



4 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/4" pieces
1 carrot, julienned
1 onion, julienned
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 red cabbage, shredded
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine
2 cups veal/beef stock

2-3 lb. pork roast, cut into portions (preferably something with a decent amount of fat, like pork shoulder)
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup marcona almonds, optional 
fresh thyme, optional

In a large dutch oven, render the bacon strips under medium heat. 

Add carrots, onions, and butter.  Saute until vegetables start to soften.

Stir in the cabbage and cook until starting to wilt, about 10 minutes or so.

Add in apples, garlic, bay leaf, cloves, nutmeg, red wine, and veal stock.  Season lightly with salt and pepper - as the braise cooks, the salt will intensify, so it's best to season lightly now, then correct later on when the braise is done.

Braise the cabbage under a simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. 

In a large saute pan, add olive oil and heat under medium high heat.  Season the pork portions with salt and pepper and sear on all sides.  Remove from pan and add to dutch oven with cabbage.  Top with thyme sprigs.  Make sure the meat is covered by at least 1/2 - 2/3 by the liquid - if not, add more wine or stock.

Continue to braise until pork is fork tender, about 3-4 hours.

Alternatively, you could transfer all of the ingredients to a crockpot and let simmer on low for the allotted amount of time to make it easier.  Either way, you'll end up with fork tender results.

When ready to serve, ladle about 1/2 cup of the braising liquid into a saucepan.  Reduce by half and then mount with the unsalted butter until thick and shiny. 

Place a mound of cabbage in the center of the plate and top with a portion of pork.  Top with the reduced sauce and garnish with marcona almonds and fresh thyme.

This was definitely a comfort meal.  With the last days of winter coming to a close, this was a great way to celebrate the coming of spring and the start of my new found freedom!  Hope you guys have a great rest of the week!


  1. Hello Peggy,
    This looks yummy and you take such beautiful pictures.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS on accomplishing culinary school!! That's fantastic!! You have a bright future in front of you so I wish you the best. :)

    I love this combo of pork and cabbage... I can see why Andy cleaned his plate. :)

  3. Congrats on finishing culinary school! I sure have loads to learn from you :)

  4. Congratulations on finishing culinary school! I love braised red cabbage.