These pork chops with braised red cabbage will be your new favorite bone-in pork chop recipe. They’re paired with a gorgeous sweet, spicy golden beet relish and quick braised red cabbage.
For me, this recipe came from an attempt to clear out my freezer and crisper. I had gorgeous 2-inch thick, bone-in pork chops and bacon tucked away in my freezer. When I realized I had a head of red cabbage in the back of my fridge, I knew I wanted to make pork chops with braised red cabbage. The cabbage is sweet and piquant, while the pork chops are perfectly cooked, juicy, and savory.
I also had a few wrinkly golden beets in my crisper. Not wanting them to go to waste, I decided to use their subtle sweetness in this recipe. Often, braised cabbage and pork brings in a fruity component, like apricot or apples. In my case, a sticky, sweet, spicy golden beet relish delivers the sweet undertones.
I am a huge fan of bone-in pork chops, and this recipe may be one of my new favorites. This recipe is great because it’s really not too difficult to make. The main components of the meal are:
- Pork chops: Fried in leftover bacon fat and baked while the cabbage finishes cooking.
- Golden beet relish: Made with spices, aromatics, and Serrano pepper and simmered in maple-mustard vinegar sauce until jammy.
- Braised red cabbage: Fried in bacon fat and then braised in sugar, vinegar, and water.
The Golden Beet Relish:
The golden beet relish may be my new favorite topping for pork chops. It’s sweet, spicy, sticky, and jammy and pairs perfectly with pork. It would also be a wonderful accompaniment to roast chicken or duck.
To make it, you need:
- Spices: Caraway seeds, fennel seeds, and flaky sea salt. I used a fennel salt blend from La Boîte, but your favorite flaky citrus or flaky sea salt will work.
- Aromatics and vegetables: Shallot, Serrano pepper, and golden beets are finely diced and cooked into the spices.
- Sauce: The simmer sauce is made with orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and water.
Making it is as simple as toasting the spices and adding the shallot, pepper, and golden beets. From there, add the ingredients for the sauce and let it simmer for 30–45 minutes. The sauce will thicken and develop a syrupy consistency. The beets in the sauce will take on almost a jammy texture. You can add water as it cooks to loosen it up as needed, but you want the beets to be very soft.
The relish is really the key to this recipe, so I recommend not skipping it! Extras can be served on top of roasted potatoes, and I think it would be delicious on top of deviled eggs.
How to make the pork chops with braised cabbage:
Making this recipe comes down to a few parts:
- Step 1: Make the relish. It takes the longest to prepare and will just do its simmering thing while you prepare the rest of the meal.
- Step 2: Cook the bacon. The bacon fat will be used to brown the pork chops and cook the cabbage, so brown it first. Be sure your pot is big enough to hold four pork chops later.
- Step 3: Brown the pork chops. They need not be cooked through as they’ll finish in the oven. Once the chops are browned on both sides, pop them in the oven.
- Step 4: Make the cabbage while the pork chops finish cooking.
I recommend serving this with roasted Yukon gold potatoes, which you can get going right when you’re ready to start frying the chops. Throw them in the oven, and they’ll finish roasting in the oven alongside the chops. You could also serve with a serving
Pork Chops with Braised Red Cabbage
- Small skillet
- Wide pot
- Baking sheet
Pork chops and braised red cabbage:
- ½ pound thick sliced bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 4 thick-cut, bone-in pork chops
- 1 pound head of red cabbage, cored and chopped
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1 orange, juiced
- ½ cup water
- Salt and pepper
Golden beet relish:
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Flaky sea salt, to taste
- 2 medium golden beets, peeled and finely diced
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 Serrano pepper, trimmed and finely diced
- 1 orange, juiced
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup water, plus more if needed
- Roasted or mashed potatoes
Preheat oven to 350ªF.
Prepare the relish:
- Place fennel seeds and caraway seeds in a small skillet, crushing the seeds between your fingers as you sprinkle them in. Add a pinch of flaky sea salt. Turn the heat to medium and toast for 45 seconds. Add the golden beets, mustard, shallot, and Serrano pepper and cook for 3–4 minutes, occasionally turning, until they warm through completely.
- Pour in the orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and 1/3 cup water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30–45 minutes, occasionally stirring, until the relish becomes jammy and sticky. Add more water as needed to loosen up the relish as needed. Taste and season once more.
Cook the bacon:
- Place the diced bacon in a wide pot over medium heat. Cook, often turning, until the fat completely renders from the bacon and the bacon crisps up. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of rendered bacon fat into a heat-proof glass.
Brown the pork chops:
- Pat the pork chops dry and season all over with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon neutral oil to the 1 tablespoon bacon fat in the pot. Add the pork chops and cook without moving for 3–5 minutes per side until browned. Brown the fat caps for 1–2 minutes and then transfer the pork chops to a baking sheet.
- Transfer to the oven for 15–20 minutes or until the pork chops reach desired internal temperature, 135ºF–140ºF is ideal for medium-rare as the chop will rest up to 145ºF. Remove the pork chops from the oven and tent them with foil.
Prepare the cabbage:
- Drain and discard the oil in the pot. Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat. Once hot, add the diced cabbage and season all over with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the sugar, orange juice, distilled white vinegar, and mustard. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, occasionally stirring, until the cabbage is tender, 15–20 minutes. Stir all but a pinch of the cooked bacon into the cabbage. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the braised cabbage between plates and place a pork chop on top. Spoon the golden beet relish on top of each chop. Sprinkle the rest of the crispy bacon on top of each dish. Serve alongside roasted potatoes if you like. Enjoy!