One Pot Delight, Beer Braised Pork Loin and Red Cabbage

Are you looking for an easy Sunday supper?  Well, this is the meal for you.  It’s healthy and wonderfully flavorful.  Many people think of cabbage as a cole slaw only vegetable, but when braised it’s sweetness erupts and it’s the perfect compliment to the spice the paprika brings to this dish.  The pork is unbelievably tender, so be careful you don’t continue cooking it or it will just fall apart.  An hour and a half is the perfect amount of cooking time to maintain delicacy and tenderness while still being able to slice it.  The carrots just add to the rustic nature of the dish and they are tender and flavorful as well.

Red cabbage is now in season, and it’s packed full of nutritional benefits which is why having a meal where you can incorporate it is ideal.  This dish does cook out much of the nutritional benefits, but save some of the raw cabbage, finely chop it and toss it in with some warm quinoa and add a little of your favorite salad dressing on top.  This is a wonderful lunch dish that is low in calories and high on nutrition.  In fact, I think that I’ll post this recipe later in the week with a healthy salad dressing to accompany it.

The reason that red cabbage should become a desirable addition to your refrigerator vegetable drawer is because of a compound known as phytochemicals.  Plant foods that contain phytochemicals are also referred to as polyphenols, which are known as the disease fighters in the food world.  Foods that contain polyphenols have been known to provide powerful antioxidants and cancer fighting benefits.  Red cabbage is also high in vitamin C, it’s fiber rich and has a multitude of other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your overall well being.  Enjoy this one pot delight using red cabbage, it’s a keeper in my house!

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Beer Braised Pork Loin and Cabbage

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours

Total Time: Approx. 2 hours

Ingredients:

For the rub
1 Pork Loin (my package had 2, double the recipe for more people or freeze)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp of coconut oil

For the Pot
Browned Pork Loin
1 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
½ cup of shallots, thinly sliced
8 baby carrots, tops trimmed off(add more if desired)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tsp paprika
½ cup chicken stock
1 bottle of beer, I used Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

1. Combine 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon thyme, ¼ tsp ground mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl and rub evenly on the pork.
2. In a large oven-proof dutch oven or pot, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add pork to the pot and sear on sides until nicely browned, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the pork and set aside.
3. Add the red cabbage, shallots, and carrots to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook 15 minutes or until cabbage begins to wilt, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in the tomato paste, the remaining 2 teaspoons paprika (less for milder heat), 1 tsp thyme, chicken stock and the beer. Return the pork to the pot, cover and bake at 350° for 1½ hours and turn off the oven, crack the door and let it sit for an additional 25 minutes. Check the pork at an hour, if you need more liquid in the pot, add a little water or chicken stock to prevent the pot from drying out.
5. Set pork on a cutting board and cover with foil for 5 minutes. Slice on a diagonal and serve with the cabbage and carrots on a platter. You can accompany this dish with potatoes, brown rice or simply on it’s own.

Altered slightly from Bruce Aidells recipe, Bruce Aidells's Complete Book of Pork, Cooking Light
OCTOBER 2006

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