Pork Belly Cabbage

 I have to tell you, I'm really digging cabbage these days.Yes, the humble, lowly ground vegetable that is generally the butt of many a joke about either the elderly or farts. Sometimes both. However, cabbage is so much more than the overboiled, limp staple you remember at large family gatherings. Cabbage is not only fairly inexpensive, but is filled with vitamins K, C and a whole lot of them fancy antioxidant-thingies. More importantly, cabbage can provide a lot of good bulk to a meal to fill you up without resorting to more calorie dense foods. But, can it taste good?

Yes it can! In fact, to get the benefits out of cabbage, cook it with the mindset that less is more. Cooking the cabbage for long periods not only makes it completely unappealing, but reduces the cancer fighting benefits that are present in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower. With this in mind, a quick saute is perfect for achieving a tender-crisp texture that can bring out the sweetness of the cabbage. Combined with some classic flavouring, cabbage could become a staple in your house just like it has in mine. Here`s a simple, inexpensive and delicious meal that combines another cheap staple, sliced pork belly, along with apple, onion and a bit of celery. The result is a homey, classic pairing that is easy to whip up and easy on your wallet:

Pork Belly Cabbage:

1 small head of green cabbage, sliced into strips
250g sliced pork belly, diced (this is not cured bacon - just the pork)
1 large diced apple
2 stalks celery sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pan, brown the pork belly on medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes. You want to do this fairly slow so that the fat (oh yes...the delicious pork fat!) has a chance to render while the meat stays soft. Cooking this on too high of a heat will toughen the pork belly. 

Once browned, add the cabbage, apple, onion, garlic, celery and toss throughout the pork so that the vegetables become coated in the fat. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the apple cider vinegar. Continue to toss and stir fry until the the liquid has reduced, and the cabbage has reached either the tender crisp stage, or is soft to your liking. You can also put a lid over the pan for a few minutes to steam the cabbage to soften it. You want to stir fry at least for 15 minutes in order to allow the flavours to marry. This is where the simplicity of this dish wows - apples, pork and cabbage are divine as a combination . No wonder they are found in so many cuisines!

More cabbage facts:

- Digestive: cabbage juice has been shown to have a role in helping to heal ulcers and the digestive tract
- Cholesterol - Cabbage helps to lower LDL - or the 'bad cholesterol'
- Cancer Protection - Like its cousins, broccoli and cauliflower, cabbage has antioxidants to fight cancer
- Anti-inflammatory - All types of cabbage contain polyphenols that help to reduce inflammation


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 297 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 3%Vitamin C 89%
Calcium 6%Iron 10%
Nutrition Grade A


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