Cabbage with pork- Romanian recipe is a dish you can make all year round. Cooked on the stove and finished in the oven, this dish is a delicious one that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Why This Recipe Captivates
While growing up, cabbage with pork was a recipe we often ate. Cabbage is a very popular vegetable in Romania, consumed all year round.
We preserve the cabbage in brine in the winter and use it for stuffed cabbage rolls, but we make salads or cook it with meats in the summer.
We also make stuffed cabbage rolls using the blanched cabbage leaves. As you probably know, cabbage pairs well with pork, and the flavors are excellent if you use smoked meat.
This dish is considered an economical one, as it doesn't require a lot of ingredients.
Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that you can use in many recipes. You can eat it raw, but you can also boil, steam, pickle, ferment, roast, braise, or saute.
Pork and cabbage are excellent friends. For this recipe, you can use any cut that is good for a stew. I like to use pork shoulder or pork sirloin. Shoulder and sirloin tend to be tougher but flavorful and well-marbled with fat, making the cabbage delicious. Also, some leftover ham is always a good option.
Thyme is a classic herb that is used in many recipes with pork. I always have dried thyme in my pantry, and this is what I always use. If you have fresh from your garden, don't be shy to use it. Your cabbage and pork will be delicious.
- Tomato sauce
This is also a versatile ingredient. Use what you have in your pantry, sauce, crushed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes that you cut, or pure tomato paste.
I use regular white onion. It is sweet and delicious and perfect for this dish.
- Other ingredients
Bay leaves are also great in stews and work really well with pork and beef. Salt, pepper, and some water are all you need to finish this dish in a glorious way.
How To Make
Step 1. Start by preheating the oven to 350F.
After starting it on the stovetop, we will finish the dish in the oven.
Make sure you use an oven-safe pot/pan since you will use it on both surfaces. My grandmother used lard for this dish, so if you are brave enough and lard doesn't scare you, feel free to use it. It is delicious.
Step 2. Brown meat and onions.
Heat the oil or lard in a large pan on medium heat. Add the bite-size chopped meat and brown it on all sides. Chop the onion and add it to the meat. Sauté the onion until it becomes translucent.
Step 3. Cook the cabbage.
Add the shredded cabbage and stir well. Cabbage contains lots of water and takes up a lot of space at the beginning of the cooking process. Therefore you need a big pan.
After the cabbage loses some volume, add a little water and tomato sauce or paste.
Also, add thyme and bay leaves. Then, add salt and pepper to taste.
Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes until the ingredients get friendly with each other.
Step 4. Place the pan in the oven.
Place the pan in the oven and forget about it for about 45 minutes to an hour. The goal is to reduce the liquid in the pan and also caramelize the cabbage a little bit.
It will make your house smell so good, and if your family is anything like mine, you will see them emerge from their respective rooms, wandering around the oven, trying to see what you are cooking.
Step 5. Serve.
It does feed a crowd. We always make more because we love to pack the leftovers for work the next day. It is perfect for a Sunday meal with the family!
Nothing better than cabbage with pork, and if you use some smoked meat, like ham, you will really fall in love with it!
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Cabbage With Pork
- 1 pound cubed pork meat
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 medium cabbage shredded
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil or lard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat the oil or the lard in an oven-safe pan, on the stovetop, medium heat.
- Add the cubed pork meat and brown it on all sides.
- Chop the onion and add it to the pan. Saute it until translucent, stirring frequently.
- Add the shredded cabbage and stir well. Add a pinch of salt.
- After the cabbage loses some of its volume, add a little water, tomato sauce, thyme, and bay leaves.
- Add salt and pepper to your taste.
- Allow it to simmer on medium heat on the stove for about 10 minutes until the ingredients get friendly with each other.
- Place the pan inside the oven and bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes. Do not cover it.
- Remove when the sauce is reduced to half, and the cabbage is caramelized on top.
- Serve it with sour cream on top, your favorite bread, and hot peppers, if you like them.