Monday, May 11, 2009
Cotes de Porc A L'Auvergnate - Braised Pork with Cream and Cabbage
I am what I eat, but is that all that I am? I'm passionate about many things, consumed by some and totally repulsed by others. I'm intense and commit totally or not at all. My Dad - first coach and cheerleader - would watch my antics, shake his heads and murmur to me and an invisible asssembly, "Thank God, you're not a missionary!" I garden with the same intensity as I cook and that's how it happened that I was up to my knees in mulch on a wet, chilly Oregon day last week. It wasn't the bitter cold of winter, but rather a creeping, damp that chills the bone and afflicts serious gardeners wherever they may be. Soup and stew help ward it off, but there was no time to make either. I culled from memory a recipe - a golden oldie - that would provide warmth and comfort in a bit less than an hour. I'd forgotten how satisfying pork cooked in this manner can be. You'll need some bacon, pork chops, cabbage, wine and cream to pull it off. Then let imagination carry you to a French farmhouse kitchen with a roaring fire and bottle of vin rouge on the table. Grab a glass and pour. The recipe comes from the mountainous Auvergne region of France which is famous for rustic pork dishes such as this one. Here's the recipe.
Cotes du Porc A L'Auvergnate - Braised Pork with Cream and Cabbage
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 slices bacon, cut in 1/2-inch dice
4 center-cut pork chops, about 1-1/4-inches thick
1 small head Savoy cabbage (2 pounds), cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 cup heavy cream
Pinch of sage
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1) Heat oil in a large, deep skillet until it shimmers. Add bacon and saute until light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer bacon pices to paper toweling to drain.
2) Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Saute until a deep golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
3) Add sliced cabbage to skillet and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in white wine and cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return pork chops and bacon to pan and simmer, partially covered, until cabbage is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer mixture to a greased ovenproof casserole or individual gratinee dishes. Spoon some cabbage over top of pork chops. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and melted butter. Bake, uncovered, until top is lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.
Cook's Note: Light cream or milk can replace the heavy cream.