CRAVEN College’s Jamie Fletcher provides another of his favourite recipes. He has more than 10 years’ experience working in bars and restaurants, including a 15-month stint as a sous-chef in the South of France.
MANY chop and cabbage recipes have you braising the cabbage long and slowly.
My pork chops with sage, braised cabbage and juniper is a much quicker version which should have you sitting down and eating within half an hour of cooking. Try to get good-quality thick cut pork chops from your local butcher if possible.
4 pork chops
1 small or half a large Savoy cabbage
6 juniper berries
10 sage leaves
1 large clove of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 glass white wine - about 250 ml
Remove the outer leaves and tough white core from the cabbage and shred the rest into ribbons about one to two centimetres wide. Rinse in a colander and set aside to drain.
Prepare the chops by scoring the rind across into sections about 2cm apart – this will stop them losing their shape in the pan as they cook.
Get a large frying pan really hot – you want one big enough to take all four chops if possible – and add all of the oil and half of the butter.
Once the butter and oil mix is hot and has started to foam, add in the chops and the sage leaves and fry the chops over a medium heat for between three and four minutes each side to give them a really good colour. Turn up the heat if your chops aren’t browning as fast as you’d like.
Meanwhile, place another pan over a medium flame. Once it’s hot, add a small slice of the remaining butter. Crush the juniper berries and the garlic clove and add to the butter. Tip in the shredded cabbage and give everything a good stir. Turn the heat down to low and cover.
While the cabbage is cooking, turn the heat down under the chops, add a good grind of salt and pepper and continue to cook for another five minutes or so, depending on thickness, until the chops are cooked through.
Remove the chops from the pan, cover and keep warm while you get on with making the sauce.
Remove the chops from the pan and get rid of most of the fat – leave a table spoon or so in the pan, along with all sticky bits. Pour in the white wine and turn the heat up. Scrape all the sticky meat bits from the bottom of the pan while letting the wine bubble away. You want to be left with about half of what you added. Add the last of the butter to the reduced wine and whisk until the sauce is glossy and all the butter has been mixed in. If you like a slightly sharper sauce you can add half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard here too.
Serve with mashed potatoes.