Pork served with apples has been around for centuries. It is served this way in many European cultures, especially in the German, Polish, Hungarian and Russian cultures. Apples, other fruits in general, were paired with a lot of meats and other dishes long before sugar was readily available to many households. The apples and fruits were used to sweeten things up, but when apples are paired with cabbage, they are thought of as more savory than sweet. This combination of apples and cabbage, particularly red cabbage is very popular in the Germanic countries, especially when served with pork or sausage, though it is often used with chicken as well.
There are a lot of theories as to why pork and apples two are always paired together. One is that, in ancient times, the acidity of apples helped digest meats such as pork. Another is that farmers used to let pigs clean up the orchards of any fallen apples, thus associating the two. Another one is that when apples are usually ripe, farmers often begin butchering their meat around the same time and eventually put the two together. All I know for sure is that apples, pork and red cabbage all taste great together. The rest is up for debate.
Larry is of German ancestry, so every now and then I prepare traditional German foods for us. Unlike most of us, Larry’s background is 100% German. Me, on the other hand, I am am 100% American mutt, with my background coming from all over Northern Europe, which eventually landed in Australia (my dad). Variations of pork with apples and red cabbage are in all of my German cookbooks, and I have made many of them. They are all delicious with only subtle differences.
You can use any kind of firm apples for this dish. You want firm apples since other varieties will turn mushy in the cooking process. I prefer to slice my apples, making them easier to eat, although some recipes call for just slicing them in half. Again, your choice. I used small apples that I had.
German Pork with Apples and Red Cabbage
My good friend Julia, our very own from https://retirementrvdream.com/, sent me a delicious care package for Christmas that included this fabulous boiled apple cider. I had never heard of it before, and now I am wondering how I ever got by so long without it. I used this in my dish and WOW! The flavor was fantastic!
2 lbs pork chops, or sausage
2-3 firm apples of your choice, either sliced or cut in half
1/2 red onion, sliced thick
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup apple cider
2-3 TBSP apple cider vinegar
butter and olive oil for cooking
Get a large skillet VERY hot, then add a combination of both olive oil and butter.
Pat dry the pork chops with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the pork on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side depending on thickness, until you have a golden crust all around. Once the pork is completely seared, remove it from the skillet and set aside.
Add more olive oil and /or butter if needed then add the cabbage, onions and apples. Stir occasionally, and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are tender.
Add both the cider and the cider vinegar and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Red-add the pork to the dish. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At about the half way point, turn the pork over and continue cooking.
I served this delicious dish along side some very creamy mashed potatoes, making it even more of a German dish, and some chardonnay. I served white wine because it is pork, however, a smooth red wine would also go very nicely with this dish too.
This dish is Kostlich or delicious! GenieBen! Enjoy!
Have a great day Everyone. Stay safe and stay well. ‘Til next time.