We cooked a pork chop. It didn't have the texture of a well crafted leather shoe. All in all, a very successful day. Pair that tender chop with a seasoned salad, and you've got a solid meal happening. 

We never cook pork (beyond bacon) on the regular. Partially because I went through a weird 10 year phase were I was not eating pork growing up (because I learned what trichinosis was in the 90's). Partially because when we cook meat we are all in on having chicken or beef and we know what we're doing there. We can cook a steak like nobody's business. But pork, especially a large piece of pork...can be daunting. So daunting, that here we are, almost five years into marriage and we have never cooked said protein before. 

But today we made a pork chop and it was delightful.

Tender.

But really. 

 

Tender Spring Pork Chop and Caraway Cabbage Salad
Tender Spring Pork Chop and Caraway Cabbage Salad
Tender Spring Pork Chop and Caraway Cabbage Salad

From a nutrition POV pork actually has a lot to offer for those of you who are omnivorous. You've got the typical B vitamins of meats but also it's an excellent source of phosphorus and a good source of zinc. The bottom line there is minerals and both of them are important for energy. 

I also want to talk about cooking method here. Lately, our go-to method of cooking meat is in the sous vide machine and finishing it off in a skillet. While we wanted to go away from that for this recipe (because seriously- not many people have or want a sous vide machine despite how much I love it), the butcher left us with a really wonky cut. Like one end was a solid inch thicker than the other. So to make sure everything was cooked, but not tough....we went back to the sous vide. In the water bath we set it for 140 for 2 hours with the pork seasoned with sugar, salt and black pepper before bagging. 

If you DON'T have a sous vide, I suggest a little reading and research before you dive in. The bottom line is you're best off using a skillet and oven method AND taking it out when the pork is 135 as it retains heat to bring it to the USDA recommended 145. I'm not going to reinvent the wheel over here with traditional pork cooking, so seriously check these out:

Tender Spring Pork Chop and Caraway Cabbage Salad

Spring Pork Chop and Caraway Cabbage Salad

Serves 2

/// Ingredients ///

  • 1 bone-in pork rib chop, 16 ounces OR 2 at 8 ounces (good luck finding that size though...)
  • 2 t kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 t sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 T butter
  • fresh thyme
  • fingerling potatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 C green shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 medium pink lady/fuji apple
  • 1/4 t caraway seeds
  • 2 T Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 C olive oil 

/// Directions /// Season the pork on both sides with the sugar, black pepper and salt. If using the sous vide method, bag the pork and insert it into the pre-heated water bath at 140 for 2 hours. If you're using a skillet and oven method, refer to links earlier in the post.

Wash fingerling potatoes and boil with a bay leaf. Drain and set aside. Shred the cabbage, chop the apple and parsley. In a large bowl toss potatoes, cabbage, parsley and apple with caraway and olive oil. Once the pork is done in the sous vide, remove from the bag and brown in a cast iron skillet with butter and vegetable oil with a sprig of fresh thyme. Brown each of the sides and plate with the cabbage salad. 

Tender Spring Pork Chop and Caraway Cabbage Salad

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.