Instead of an evening out, we opted for an evening in . . . complete with a French-inspired movie, Midnight in Paris, and menu. Don’t be too impressed by the name of our entrée -- Rôti de Porc aux Chou is simply Casserole-roasted Pork with Cabbage. It might even be considered peasant-fare but it was mighty good, and not all that complicated to prepare.
The recipe came from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Betholle and Simone Beck. Yes, I’m having fun perusing the pages of the cookbook as I recall the foods we ate while in France a couple of years ago. No, I have no plans to make all of the recipes in the book nor will I devote a large part of this blog to those recipes!
Using the French-themed dishes that a friend gave me for my last birthday (thanks Judy!), I even created a French bistro-inspired tablescape to go along with the menu. Barry was impressed and it added to the ambience of the evening.
Rôti de Porc aux Chou (Casserole-roasted Pork with Cabbage) 6 servings
Julia’s recipe w/ my adjustments . . .
3 lb. roast of pork (I used a Boston-butt cut)
4 tablespoons cooking oil or bacon grease (I used a little of both)
1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
5 to 6 carrots, peeled & cut into thick chunks
2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
¾ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes or about 4 sprigs fresh
5 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme or about 1 teaspoon dried
1 lb. (about 6 cups) green/white cabbage, cut into 1/2” slices and a kettle containing 7 to 8 quarts of rapidly boiling water with 1½ teaspoons salt per quart of water
Salt & pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Dry the pork roast thoroughly with paper towels. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole. When oil is almost smoking (set fire/burner to moderately high heat), place pork, fat side down in the casserole and brown on all sides. This will take about 10 minutes. (As this cooks, complete step #4.) Remove pork to a side dish.
|Pork has been browned on all sides.|
2. Pour all but 2 spoonsful of fat out of the casserole. Stir in onions, carrots and garlic; add bay leaf, parsley and thyme sprigs. Cover, reduce heat and cook slowly for about 5 minutes.
|Veggies and herbs have been cooked for 5 minutes.|
3. Place the pork back in the casserole, fattiest side up. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and put in preheated oven for about 1 to 1½ hours.
|Browned pork is re-added to the casserole. It is not necessary to add any|
liquid as the pork will release fat and juices as it bakes (covered) in the oven.
4. Drop the cabbage into the boiling water. Bring rapidly to the boil and boil uncovered for 2 minutes. Immediately drain in a colander, and run cold water over the cabbage for a minute or two. Drain thoroughly and set aside.
|Cabbage is cooking in pot of boiling & salted water.|
5. After the pork has cooked for 1 to 1½ hours, arrange the cabbage around it. Season with additional salt and pepper and baste with the juices that have accumulated in the casserole. Cover, bring to a simmer on stove top and then return it to the oven until the pork in done and the cabbage is tender (about another hour). Baste the cabbage several times with the meat juices during this period.
Pork as it is baking and being basted during the last hour of cooking.
6. Transfer pork to a platter; remove bay leaf and thyme stems. Lift the cabbage and carrots out of the casserole with a fork and spoon so it will drain, and arrange it around the meat. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the juices (au jus) in the casserole over the cabbage or put in a small bowl and several on the side. Decorate the platter with sprigs of fresh thyme, if desired.
|Pork is done; it is fork tender; notice the au jus that has formed.|
Spinach & Tomato Salad w/ Celery Seed Dressing
Rôti de Porc aux Chou (Casserole-roasted Pork with Cabbage)
Crusty French-style Bread