Well, here we are. It's the end of the week and I find myself looking through the refrigerator to find all of the bits and pieces and trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Not that I mind really . . . I quite like the challenge of looking in the refrigerator and seeing what I can come up with. It makes things more exciting. I suppose my experience in years and years of cooking helps me a lot in that way . . . that and my love of all things culinary, because it means that I have a natural aptitude for knowing just what flavours go with what.
Today I found a package of 3 pork loin chops, some rashers of streaky smoked bacon, half a cabbage, half a small bottle of apple juice, half a jar of apple sauce, and a tired looking carrot. I always have onions and potatoes in the larder. Although there were only three loin chops in the pack, but they were rather thick and so I figured I could feed four people (two adults and two children) with this, adding some mash on the side.
I cooked the bacon and then crumbled it, setting it aside. I could have browned the chops in the drippings, but there weren't many and so I added a tsp each of butter and olive oil, seasoned my chops really well with salt and pepper and thyme and then browned them off.
I then added an onion and the carrot (cut into half moons each) to the pan drippings and started softening them. Once I got them really started I began to add the cabbage in handfuls along with a bit of apple juice, letting it wilt down a bit before I added more. The cabbage was thinly shredded by hand, not too thin, but not too thick either.
Once I had all the cabbage in, I stirred in the apple sauce, apple juice, half of the crumbled bacon and gave it a good stir. Some apple cider vinegar was also added to counteract the sweetness of the applesauce. I nestled the partially cooked chops down into the mixture, covered it tightly and then let them simmer for a bit, with the end result being some really tender and juicy chops, in a flavourful vegetable sauce mixture that went down a real treat with a pile of mash on the side.
I love it when that happens. They do say waste not want not! And when you can make the bits left in the refrigerator taste as special as this did, you just know you have done a great job! I think I could have added a bay leaf for even more flavours, but will save that now for next time. We both really enjoyed! The Toddster does love his chops!
*Pan Roasted Chops and Cabbage*Serves 4
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oilsalt, pepper and dried thyme