Food & Drink

Mustard, cream and lemon make for fast and flavor-packed pork chops

Pork and Cabbage with Mustard Cream Sauce. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post.
Pork and Cabbage with Mustard Cream Sauce. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post.

Pull out your large skillet tonight if you’re up for a pork dish that comes together in minutes but has a surprisingly complex-tasting sauce.

Too often, fast-cooking recipes lack depth of flavor, because they have fewer ingredients and because quick can mean the ingredients have little time to do the things that make a dish delicious, like caramelize or blend for a more nuanced, richer taste.

This one works in part to a quick sauce - it takes about 5 minutes - that gets its depth of flavor from cream, mustard, lemon and a dash of white pepper.

The rest of the dish - which comes together in one large skillet - is easy on the tired home cook, featuring thin-cut pork chops that finish in six to eight minutes, and sautéed onions and cabbage that require about 15 minutes total on the stove.

I found the recipe by happenstance. When Urvashi Pitre’s “Easy Keto in 30 Minutes” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019) landed on my desk, I decided to look through the 100 recipes. (It took me 40 minutes to make this pork dish, but I won’t quibble.)

I was delighted by the variety of preparations in the cookbook, so, after making and tasting this recipe, I dug a little deeper by going to Pitre’s site, TwoSleevers.com, on which she says that her “recipes are simple to make, but have complex flavors.”

I thought, well, that was exactly my experience with this one I tested.

Pitre, who is from India, prides herself on offering what she calls “global recipes.” She often focuses on Keto dieters, so her recipes feature lots of low-carb substitutions, such as Flank Steak Fajitas (with lettuce leaves in place of tortillas), a Skillet Lasagna (with no noodles) and Shrimp and “Grits” (made with pureed cauliflower, of course).

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This pork dish requires no such substitutions, but it does call to mind cooking from another land. With the first bite, one colleague proclaimed the flavors suggested German cooking. I agree. Pork, mustard and cabbage often join hands in popular German dishes for a reason. They play well together here, as well.

The richness of the sauce and the heartiness of the abundant cabbage made this a great wintry supper. Next time, when I make it, I plan to polish it off with a malty German-style beer.

PORK CHOPS AND CABBAGE WITH MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE

40 minutes

4 servings

Thin center-cut pork chops, quick-cooking cabbage and a simple sauce make this German-style dish a great option for busy weeknights. This one-skillet recipe is keto friendly, too.

Storage Notes: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

4 thin center-cut boneless pork chops (about 1 pound total)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup finely diced onion (about 1/2 large onion)

4 cups rough chopped green cabbage (about 1 pound)

1 tablespoon butter (optional)

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Pat the pork chops dry and season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the chops and cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until browned on the other side, about 3 minutes. (If the chops are browning too quickly, lower the heat.) Transfer the chops to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the onion to the skillet and stir, cooking until the onion is softened and nearly translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the butter, if using, and toss to coat the cabbage. (If the chops are lean, butter will enhance the flavor.) Transfer the cabbage mixture to a serving platter and cover to keep warm.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the cream and mustard to the skillet and stir until the mustard is fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and white pepper; stir to combine.

Add the chops back to the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes, basting the chops with the sauce.

Place the chops on top of the cabbage on the serving platter. Drizzle the chops and cabbage with the remaining sauce, garnish with the parsley and serve.

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Nutrition | Calories: 500; Total Fat: 38 g; Saturated Fat: 19 g; Cholesterol: 130 mg; Sodium: 400 mg; Carbohydrates: 12 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 24 g.

Source: Adapted from Urvashi Pitre’s “Easy Keto in 30 Minutes” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019)

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