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Pork Chop with Alsatian Cabbage, Bacon and Apples

Jeremy Eckel, Bar Avignon

4 Carlton Farms pork chops
3qt Cold water
½ c Kosher salt
¼ c Sugar
2ea Bay leaves
1Tbs Black peppercorns
1Tbs Fennel seeds
2Tbs Lavender
4ea Garlic cloves
3ea Thyme sprigs
1Tbs Olive oil
1head Green cabbage
4Tbs Butter
2c White wine
1Tbs Caraway seeds(coarsely ground)
1-2Tbs Kosher salt
3ea Apples
4ea Shallots
½ lb. Carlton Farms Smoked Bacon
1Tbs Cider vinegar

To create the brine, start with a one gallon or larger container. Add the cold water to the container, then whisk in the salt and sugar until completely dissolved. Add the remaining aromatics: bay, peppercorn, fennel seed, lavender, garlic & thyme. Completely immerse the pork chops in this brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the green cabbage to ¼ “ thickness. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat add the butter, then the sliced cabbage. Sprinkle in 1 Tbs of kosher salt and stir to mix thoroughly. When the cabbage begins to sizzle add the white wine and continue to cook, adjusting the heat so the wine is simmering and steaming gently. Coarsely grind or crush in a mortar the caraway seeds, then add them to the cabbage. Simmer these ingredients until most of the wine has evaporated and the cabbage has just become tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

Cut the bacon into small pieces roughly ¼” by 1” in size. Peel the shallots and slice them thinly. Peel the apples and slice them into roughly ½ “ wedges. In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the bacon. Stir the bacon occasionally to brown it evenly on all sides in its own fat. When this has happened, remove the bacon leaving the fat in the pan. Add the apple slices to the hot sauté pan and brown them in the bacon fat, flipping half way through to brown both sides. When the apples have been flipped, scatter the sliced shallots into the pan, allow them to soften in the bacon fat as well. When the apples have browned and the shallots softened, return the bacon to the pan, remove from heat and add the cider vinegar and remaining salt.

Heat a sauté pan large enough to hold all four chops and add the olive oil. Remove the chops from the brine and dry thoroughly. When the pan and oil are very hot, carefully add the pork chops (they should sizzle!). When the chops have browned on the first side flip them over, then transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking through. Check the pork periodically with a meat thermometer, removing them from the oven and the pan when they have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Before serving, reheat the cabbage and apples. Spread the cabbage out on the base of the plate, arrange pork chops on top, and spoon the bacon-apple mixture over the top. They are now ready to serve!