Braised Pork Chops with Bacon, Apples and Cabbage

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It’s starting to feel like FALL! We LOVE fall around our house. I used to teach elementary school, so fall feels like renewal to me. Beginnings. Do-overs. We love the pumpkin patch, the cider mill, planting mums, hayrides, and all things food in the fall. We made our annual apple orchard trip early this year, and I have already made most of those apples into applesauce and canned it all. But with the few leftover apples, I knew I wanted to make something that makes us think  of fall. I love to cook and I am constantly trying new things, and this was a new recipe for us.  I wondered how the kids would react to the cabbage-it is not one of their favorite vegetables, but not only did they gladly try it (because it smelled so darn good), but they begged me to make it again soon. WINNER! If you look back over my Whole 30 photos, you can see this recipe’s appearance at dinner and the leftover cabbage at a couple of lunches. I ate it three days in a row….it is THAT good.

A note on the Whole 30….this recipe does not technically comply with the Whole 30 rules. While I did use pastured pork and sugar-free bacon, it’s the 2 pesky Tablespoons of Dijon mustard that don’t follow the rules. Dijon mustard contains wine. Alcohol is a no-no on a Whole 30. The Hartwigs even acknowledge that they know that no one is going to try to get tipsy off a jar of Dijon mustard, but they drew a line for the NO ALCOHOL rule. What’s that saying? Rules are made to be broken? This is my third Whole 30, and we have been eating Paleo for over a year. I know a little Dijon is not going to send me to the liquor cabinet for a bottle of wine. I am a mom, with a real life, and while I think it is incredibly important to follow the rules, if a little mustard is going to make something yummy enough for my kids to eat Paleo with us…..Dijon wins!

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Braised Pork Chops with Bacon, Apples and Cabbage

adapted from The Healthy Foodie

Pork Chops (this number can depend on your family and the size of your pan. I used 3 bone-in pork chops-pastured preferred)

8 strips bacon (pastured bacon encouraged)

2 onions, thinly sliced

1/2 head green cabbage. sliced thinly

2 Gala apples, cored and diced

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)

1 cup unsweetened apple juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp Dijion mustard

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

3 sprigs fresh sage, chopped

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Whisk together the chicken stock, apple juice, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard and set it aside.

3. Brown the bacon slices in a Dutch oven. When they are crispy, remove to a paper towel to cool. When it is cool, chop it and set it aside.

4. Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides and then add them to the Dutch oven with the bacon fat to brown, turning when the first side is golden brown. Depending on the number of pork chops you are cooking, you may want to do this in batches so you don’t crowd the chops as they cook. When they are nice and brown on both sides, remove them from the pan and set aside.

5. Add the onions to the Dutch oven to caramelize, which will take 3-5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and paprika and cook for 1 more minute.

6.  Add the cabbage and cook until softened. Add in the apples and bacon, stir well, and cook for another 5 minutes. When the cabbage and apples are softened, pour the chicken stock/apple cider mixture over the cabbage mixture. Add the fresh herbs and stir well.

7. Arrange the pork chops over the cabbage mixture and place the lid on the Dutch oven. Bake in the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and let it sit to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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