Berkshire Pork Chops & Magic Red Cabbage

I’m flying to Colorado in a few hours and i wanted to leave some food on the table for you my friends. Let’s do a little live cooking, shall we? A 30-minutes meal a la Zenchef. Simple, good and not fussy at all. Instead of following a recipe i’m gonna ask you to trust your inner chef, that sleepy little bastard that lies within all of us. Shake him up a little. Cooking is more fun that way.

Throw a handful of double-smoked bacon cut into lardons into a pot with a little olive oil, set the flame to medium and wait until that bacony goodness gets all happy and sweaty, add a tablespoon of fennel seeds and a sliced onion and stir from time to time. Cook until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. I know, you might want to stop the cooking at this point to pick up a fork and start eating but that would be cheating. I promised you a 30-minutes meal.. not a quickie. To distract you from this orgy of flavors turn you back on it, pick up the knife and start slicing a red cabbage. Throw it in there like you don’t care and while you’re at it, chop an apple or two and add it to the party. Season this baby with salt and freshly ground pepper. Let it all cook down a little while you sit cross-legged on your kitchen counter and meditate on life’s crucial questions like: what’s for dinner? Yes, it’s important! Your inner chef is shy, meditation helps him build confidence. Time to deglaze all this goodness with some vincotto or good old balsamic vinegar, or preferably a mixture of the two. If you’re using a whole red cabbage you want to deglaze with at least 3/4 cup of the stuff and scrap the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. We’re looking for a sweet and sour equilibrum here. Cover the pot and let it cook for a while.While the magic happens, peel some fingerling potatoes, cover with cold water and let them cook until tender. Strain the water out, mash them with a fork with a drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt. Add some chopped chives, et voila!If you have access to Berkshire pork chops by all mean, try them! I’m begging you! They’re incredible. They’re so good in fact i don’t like to serve them with sauce of any kind, and you’ve got the magic cabbage anyway. I marinade them quickly in garlic and rosemary and olive oil and grill them.Guess what? Your thirty minutes meal is ready. Pack it all on a plate. Go for seconds of magic red cabbage. Enjoy!


Take a peak at your sweet and sour braised red cabbage. Ohhh! Ahhh!.. This is just too freakin’ good and it goes so well with pork! One bite and you’re be a believer, everything from the texture to the combination of flavors rocks. You’ve got the smokey and the sweet and sour with hints of fennel seeds rounded-up with bacon! [gasp.. fainting]

Now if your inner chef starts bragging to everyone about a job well done, tell him to shut the f**k up and take full credit. That lazy little bastard!

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  • Manger La Ville

    Can you be my “Rachel Ray?” This 30 minute meal sounds better than most things she has whipped up. I love a good braised cabbage. Any suggestions if you don’t have that vinegar on hand…could red wine vinegar do? I love the addition of apple. And I never thought I simply seasoning potatoes with olive oil for a mash. Sounds good to me.

  • 5 Star Foodie

    That’s a pretty fabulous 30-minute meal! Love the magic red cabbage. Have a great time on your trip!

  • Elra

    30 minute meal? that sounds so fabulous. I really like all of this combination.
    Btw, your comment made my day… you are so sweet. Thank you. Have a safe journey to Colorado.

  • doggybloggy

    you have a very sassy inner chef….

  • pigpigscorner

    The red cabbage looks amazing!

    Have a safe trip! Will be here waiting for more fabulous meals =)

  • Parker

    Beautiful presentation. As soon as I saw the wine going into I knew I’d love this recipe :)

  • Manggy

    Yeah, the red cabbage must be magic because I am seriously craving this! But I don’t think I can do it in thirty minutes with that much finesse. I only have an inner pastry chef, lol. And he demands a proper mise en place all the time.
    Colorado again?! You have a wonderful time Zenman!

  • Stacey Snacks

    Are you sure you are not a food stylist? You make the lowly pork chops and potatoes look like a 5 star meal. I will make them for the pork chop man.

  • My Sweet & Saucy

    I so wish I could hire you to cook for me every night!!!

  • Mike of Mike’s Table

    Wow, 30 minutes did fly by. That looks like a heck of a meal, especially for such a quicky. Hope you have a good trip!

  • Ricardo

    These one sounds like one of my own recipes. As is simple to the point and very nutritious and economical..well done thx for sharing

  • farida

    Fabulous 30-minute meal!

  • cook eat FRET

    an interesting sub is caraway instead of fennel

    like i’m telling you how to cook…

    have fun in aspen!

  • [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    Your 30-minute meal is definitely five-star. Have fun in Colorado!

  • Cakebrain

    This beats Rachel Ray any day!

  • Kirstin

    Ah…. Berkshire. As much sweet fat as pork belly, but chop size.

  • Clumbsy Cookie

    My inner chef sent you to a very nice place after I tried shaking him. So I guess he’s not coming to help me make this. So you’ll have to come! After Colorado maybe, I wait. Have fun!

  • Olga

    That’s exactly how I cook: just throw things in :)

    That looks like a fabulous meal. Have a great time out of town.

    By the way, I finally cooked one of the steaks I’ve won from you: heaven!

  • ksenija

    Excellent meal. Especially red cabbage / it was a revelation. Thanks.

  • Emily

    The pork, cabbage, potato combination sounds killer! I’ve never had sweet and sour cabbage before.

  • Marc @ NoRecipes

    MMmmmm…. I love braised cabbage with bacon. Nice idea using the red cabbage it’s much nicer to look at than the green kind.

    I’ve really been on a pork kick lately and just stocked up on some more unusual/cheap cuts of pork. Will report back on how they are.

  • Melissa

    Wow! These look incredible and I love the cabbage addition!

  • acey

    hi, zenman! i don’t like pork. but i will eat some if they’re made by you. haha. have a safe trip! :)

  • TavoLini

    How’s Colorado? Do you get to ski?

    Magic cabbage!!! This sounds like an excellent meal :)

  • Sweet Charity

    Ah, Berkshire pork. I had some lovely brined and stuffed Berkshire loin last night- delicious!
    I don’t think I will ever forgive the low-fat-pork-the-other-white-meat people for what they did to pork, and I’m so stoked that people are starting to farm proper pig again.

  • The Short (dis)Order Cook

    That would be a very happy 30 minutes indeed, as long as I did show restraint and didn’t eat the bacon.

    You can’t go wrong with a pork chop. You really can’t.

    I’d say this is better than “She Who Must Not Be Named” but we all know that already.

  • Cynthia

    Are you tired yet of me telling you what a superb chef you are?

  • ila

    will you marry me? and make me quickie meals like this every day?
    your post made me hungry, so i made it with kale. it was uber nom…

  • Big Boys Oven

    simple and delicious! just delicious :)

  • Kevin

    That looks like a tasty meal!