Best of the Wurst
It's October! Time for trips to the pumpkin patch, haunted forests and most importantly - soups, squash and sweatpants! Summer in the swamp of DC was brutal, and I opted for dishes that required minimal heat. Since Fall is finally upon us, it's time to light a fire under my.....stove, and get cookin'! Last weekend I had a magical time in Disney World, where the Oktoberfest activities were in full swing. I wanted to keep the magic alive when I got home, so I created an Oktoberfest-style dinner complete with Bavaria Brass band playlist - nothing makes me hungrier than the sound of a tuba. Let the feeling of gemütlichkeit come over you by making this meal for yourself!
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Hangry Timer: 40 Minutes
What You Need:
2 Center-Cut Pork Chops
1 lb. Potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
3/4 lb. Green Cabbage, cored* and thinly sliced
1 Red Onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Juniper Berries** (optional)
1 Tbsp. Honey
3/4 Green Apple, cut into matchsticks
2 Tbsp. Stone Ground Mustard
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard or Horseradish Mustard
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Oktoberfest Spice Blend (All-Purpose Flour, Ground Juniper Berries, Ground Bay Leaf & Ground Cayenne Pepper)
Salt & Pepper
What To Do With It:
Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high.
Add the potatoes to the pot of boiling water. Cook 8 to 11 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the mustards and a drizzle of olive oil; stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
While the potatoes cook, in a large pan, heat 2 tsp. of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the cabbage; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Stir in the honey, vinegar, juniper and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Remove from heat and transfer to the empty potato pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add sliced apples and cover with foil until ready to serve. Wipe out the cabbage pan.
While the cabbage braises, place the Oktoberfest spice blend on a plate. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat the seasoned pork chops in the spice blend (tapping off any excess). Transfer to a plate.
In the pan used to braise the cabbage, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the coated pork chops. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from heat.
Divide the cooked pork chops, braised cabbage and potato salad between 2 plates.
*Hangry District Tip: To core a cabbage, cut it into quarters and cut the core out at an angle. You can follow the guide of the core after you cut it into four pieces.
**Hangry District Tip: Juniper berries add a floral aroma and brightness to lots of things. If you're not sure what else to use them for, try adding some to brines - whether those be pickle brines or turkey brines! You can also add some to your Gin and Tonic to really kick the floral flavor of the gin up a notch! Don't forget the lime!