Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, meat products are not standard, daily fare. By global standards, meat is an expensive indulgence. In honor of this reality, Crowded Earth Kitchen strives to feature occasional meat dishes prepared very well. This dish hits the mark. First, this recipe calls for braising, a cooking technique in which meat is slowly simmered in liquid. Braising is best used with bone-in cuts of meat which have not been overly trimmed. This means that we can skip right over the most expensive pork chops at the market and opt for more economical, lightly trimmed chops. Second, this recipe strikes a nice balance between meat and plant-based foods, offering a variety of colors, flavors, and textures through caramelized yams, sweet crisp apples, and savory cabbage. Let’s get started!
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 bone-in pork chops, 3/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup semi-sweet white wine, such as a pinot grigio
1 large yam
1 sweet, crisp apple, such as Honeycrisp
1 head of red cabbage
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1) Melt coconut oil in a large sauté pan with a tight fitting lid (or use olive oil). Place pork chops in pan and season with pepper. Brown over medium heat for 4 minutes on each side.
Step 2) Add white wine to the pan with the pork chops, cover pan with a tight fitting lid, and braise over low-medium heat for 1 hour. If your lid doesn’t fit tightly and the wine evaporates, add a bit more wine and cover again. There should always be wine on the bottom of the pan – don’t let your pork chops dry out!
Step 3) Give your pork chops a head start of about 20 minutes before continuing. Poke your yam a few times with a fork, and microwave it for about 4 minutes. It should be partially cooked. Set it aside and forget about it for a little while.
Step 4) While the pork chops are still braising, grease a roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Cut head of cabbage into 1 inch slices and place on pan. Flip slices over so that both sides are lightly coated in oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes. Turn off the oven, but leave your cabbage in the oven to stay warm for the next few minutes…
Step 5) By now, your pork chops should be done. Remove them from the pan and set aside. If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, let it simmer with the lid off until almost all of the liquid evaporates. Slice your apple and your partially cooked yam into 1/4 inch thick slices, and add to sauté pan. Cook on each side for 1 minute.
Step 6) Layer your cabbage, pork chops, yams, and apples on a serving platter or individual plates. Enjoy!