Pork loin is a lean meat. Cabbage is so good for you. And cabbage is a traditional winter crop that stores well until spring.
As with most of my recipes, you can always simplify and still get great results. I’ve made this dish without the apples or the apple cider or the juniper berries, and it turns out just fine.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups sliced onions (if you use red cabbage, use red onions)
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 tart apples, peeled and shredded
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 2 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
- Sizable sprig of rosemary
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 (2 to 3-pound) pork loin, “fish cut” preferred
- 1/4 cup coarse-ground German brown mustard
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary and thyme or a sprig of rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium-sized heavy pan and add the onions and saute until translucent and tender. Add the shredded cabbage and apples and cook over medium heat for another 8 to 10 minutes.
[NOTE: I use a mandolin to prepare the cabbage. It’s an essential kitchen tool available in many sizes and different qualities. I like the french made Matter Mandolin, but there are huge variety to choose from.]
After the cabbage has cooked down, add the chicken stock, apple cider and red wine vinegar. Add the spices, about a teaspoon of the salt, and about a teaspoon of pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and cook until partially tender.
Put the cabbage in the bottom of a roasting dish big enough to hold the pork loin. Rub the pork loin with the mustard and chopped herbs; season with the remaining salt and pepper, and tuck into the braised cabbage. Roast in the oven until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 140 to 145 degrees F, about 35 to 40 minutes.