Food has always been pretty important to me and the memories I take away from what I eat are paramount to my recipe creation. My Mum used to make a similar braised cabbage when we were kids and I’ve been thinking about it, a lot. Growing up, we used to have this pretty regularly with a grilled pork chop and some form of mash but I wanted to raise the bar on the old meat & veg a little and marinate the pork chops in a tangy, Dijon based marinade and serve it with a sweet parsnip puree. The result was seriously good and it really does show how easy it is to take a few ingredients to really up the ante on an otherwise plain meal. My Husband declared it “restaurant quality” and I am inclined to agree!
Prep time: 25 Minutes Marinating time: 1 Hour Minimum Cooking time: 25 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
4 Pork loin cutlets, rind removed
1/2 cup of light soy sauce
1 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs of brown sugar
1 tbs of Dijon mustard
2 tbs of tomato sauce
6 Thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stalks discarded
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Chopped parsley for garnish
For the Cabbage:
Olive oil for frying
1/4 each of red and white cabbage, very finely sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1 brown onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 short, rindless bacon rashers, thinly sliced
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/4 cup of currants
2 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs of water
2 tbs of chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and cracked pepper
For the Parsnip Puree:
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
100ml of thin cream
40gm of butter
Sea salt and pepper
To make the marinade, place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine until the sugar has dissolved. Place the pork cutlets in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over, ensuring that all of the pork is coated. Marinate for at least one hour or overnight if you wish. Once marinated, heat a large, non stick griddle pan or BBQ plate to nice and hot. Use tongs to remove the pork from the marinade and allow it to run off a little. Cook the cutlets on one side for a couple of minutes before turning over and basting with the marinade. Repeat a few times so that you get a nice charred but glossy finish on the pork and depending on the thickness of the pork, it should take approximately 6-8 minutes on each side. Once cooked place them on a baking tray to rest and cover with foil to keep warm.
Bring the potato and parsnip to the boil in a large pot of water. Boil for approximately 15 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain well, add the cream and butter and season with salt and pepper. Use a stick blender or food processor to puree into a smooth but thick paste. Have a taste and adjust any seasoning if necessary. You can set aside and reheat before serving if need be but you may want to stir while heating to prevent sticking.
Heat a large fry pan and add a little oil. Fry the onion until it is just starting to soften and then add the bacon, frying until it is nice and golden. Add the garlic, pine nuts and currants and fry for a couple of minutes before deglazing the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, using a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. Up the heat on the pan and add the cabbage and a little water (this will help the cabbage to wilt) and toss to combine, adding tiny splashes of water, until the cabbage has softened. Toss through the chopped parsley just before serving.
To serve, place a large dollop of the parsnip puree on each plate and use the back of a spoon to smooth it out a little. Divide the cabbage between the plates in the centre of the puree and place a pork cutlet on top. Drizzle with any juices from the baking tray and garnish with chopped parsley.