Pork & Cabbage

9:00 pm on 5 June 2004

I have chosen this recipe because I like to use the produce appropriate to the season. I go to a Sunday market to buy my fruit and vegetables for the week and at this time of year you tend to get a lot of apples and cabbages. Recipes using this sort of combination are not uncommon, as they feature in central European traditional cooking. This recipe, though, is from eastern France.

Ingredients

  • 200 gms bacon pieces
  • a lge firm cabbage, coarsely chopped (or ½ a cabbage if you are catering for just 2 or 3 people)
  • 1 lge onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 pork belly strips for each person
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg

Method

Chop the bacon. Take a large cast-iron casserole and spread about half the cabbage on the bottom then add a layer of about half the onion, apple and bacon with the garlic. Lay the pork belly on top, season and grate over some fresh nutmeg. Layer on the remaining onion, apple and bacon then the balance of the cabbage. Season. Cover with the lid.

There are two ways to cook this dish: either in a slow crockpot or in the oven at a low temperature of about 140ºC for around 2½ hours. You don’t need to add any liquid. The cabbage packs down as it cooks and it combines with the apples to produce a delicious sauce.

Serve with good crusty bread. You can also make this recipe with game birds.

From Saturday Morning

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