The humble savoy cabbage is elevated to new heights of glory with this delicious German-style recipe with diced pancetta, chopped onion, fragrant caraway seeds and sour cream. Inspired by my friend Dorothea's comforting creamed cabbage that she often serves with Knödel, traditional German savoury round dumplings, this dish pairs perfectly with roast pork or thick meaty bone-in chops. Served with some sautéed mushrooms, the wonderful combination of flavours in this dish are rich and satisfying, and unbeatable on a cold winter evening.
Grilled Pork Chops with Creamed Cabbage, Pancetta & Caraway Seeds
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 oz pancetta, diced
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 small savoy cabbage, about 3/4 lb, cored, and finely shredded
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
2 bone in pork chops
3 oz cremini mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp butter
Heat a large, deep frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until the fat renders and pancetta just starts to crisp. If the pancetta is on the lean side, add about a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the chopped onion and caraway seeds and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until the onion is translucent. Add half of the shredded cabbage to the pan along with 1/2 cup of the broth, the salt, and a couple grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage wilts by half.
Add the remaining cabbage and broth to pan, stir and cook for another minute, stirring every 20 seconds or so, until the cabbage begins to wilt. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, removing the lid to stir once, until the cabbage is tender but still slightly crunchy. Taste, and add more salt and/or pepper if necessary. Stir in the sour cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened.
As the creamed cabbage is thickening, season the pork chops with salt and pepper and warm a grill pan on medium high with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. When hot, lay the pork chops in the pan and cook until it forms nice grill marks, then flip over and cook until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes depending on the size.
While the pork chops are cooking, set a sauté pan on medium and melt 2 tablespoons of butter until melted. Add the mushrooms, and cook tossing frequently, until soft, about 8 minutes, then set aside.
To serve, spoon the creamed cabbage in the centre of each plate and top with a pork chop and sautéd mushrooms. Garnish with some chopped parsley and serve immediately.