6.03.2017

Year-Round Comfort

Several years ago I posted one of my favorite recipes for a Baked Cabbage Soup; it is an addictive combination of pancetta, bread, cabbage, and cheese.

More recently, Susan (from the Provence WineZine) shared a recipe for Pork Chops Gratinée, which really reminded me of the soup. I was eager to make it.

She got the recipe from Susan Tipton, co-proprietor of Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards, who got it from Linda, an Acquiesce wine club member, who got it from her parents’ restaurant in France. It’s like the story of Chicken Little without the sky falling…

This is straight-up comfort food. And that makes most people think of winter. But I made - and relished it - on a bright, sunny, 95° day, and served it with a bottle of Acquiesce Winery's 2015 Belle Blanc, their homage to a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape. To read more about the pairing, visit the Provence WineZine.

Yes, this is comfort food, and well-timed for readers south of the equator, but as it turns out, I would eat this any day of the year! It is year-round comfort food.

The recipe was written the way many handed-down recipes are: some of this, a little of that, add a bit more as you need... While that method works for some, I know many home chefs who would prefer a bit more precision.


That is what I have done here. I have tested and codified the amounts, times, procedures. (Confident free-hand cooks can tinker at will.)

I may never have the opportunity to eat this dish at Susan or Linda's or Linda’s parents’ tables, thus I may never know if this is how theirs turned out. (I'm guessing it is pretty close...) Whatever the case, I do hope I have done justice to their recipe.

Sure, it's summertime, and it might be hot where you are, but don't let that stop you from trying these chops!

~ David

Côtelettes de Porc Gratinées
Pork Chops Gratinées

2 thick cut, bone in pork chops (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
tablespoons lemon olive oil, or regular olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine, more as needed
1 small head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cream *
4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pat the pork chops dry using paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown chops well on both sides, don’t worry about not cooking them all the way through, as they will finish cooking later. Remove chops and put them in a baking dish; set aside.

Sauté onions in same olive oil as chops, so that it gets some of the pork fat in addition to the lemon oil. Once they are soft and slightly browned from the drippings, add white wine ** and bring to a simmer. Add the sliced cabbage. Don't let the pan burn dry; if you need a tablespoon or more of wine, add it.

Once cabbage is wilted, reduce temperature to low and add the cream. Reduce the liquid until it is thickened. Spoon the mixture over pork chops. Sprinkle with grated Gruyère and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake until cheese is bubbling and golden brown – about 20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes, allowing juices in the pork to settle.

Serves 2


      My notes: 

           * I will used crème fraîche instead of cream in the future. 
              It is my guess that this is what is used in France.
         ** At this point, I might add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard 
              to round out the flavors.



36 comments:

  1. God this sounds good. I adore your cabbage soup so will be making this recipe as well!

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    1. Pam - this is a really nice way to make that cabbage soup into a fancy dinner! You will love this!

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    2. Pam, shall we make it when I am in your neck of the woods?

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  2. Oh does this look like heaven on a plate with the creamy cabbage. Recipes that have been handed down are pretty special and this one is no exception. So nice that you include a wine pairing, very nice David.

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    1. I agree, Cheri - recipes that have a lineage are so nice to have. This one in particular!

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  3. It may be on the verge of sweltering here in Antigua, Guatemala, but nothing would stop me from trying these little beauties. This is my kind of food, David!

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    1. I thought of you when I made this, John - it definitely has your name on it! Stay cool down there!

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  4. Oh my - I want this now, for breakfast!

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    1. It would be the breakfast of champions, Peg!

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  5. This looks insanely good, and I am always up for a bit of out of season comfort food! I'm definitely going to try this!

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    1. First, Sue - thanks for visiting Cocoa & Lavender! When I saw Great Island, I immediately though of New Castle but thought, "No way - there must be numerous Great Islands out there." But it is New Castle!

      I am curious if you found me through Susan at the Provence WineZine?

      Either way, I just signed up for your blog, and look forward to getting to know you better through our mutual love of food!

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    2. How do you know New Castle David? And I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I'm so glad I did!

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    3. We lived in Portsmouth/Kittery for 10 years from 1995-2005. Loved it but am glad we found the Sonoran Desert!

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  6. I too would eat it any time of the year. GREG

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  7. You captured the spirit of this dish and my mouth is watering...I can't wait to make it again! And, of course pair it with the Belle Blanc!

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    1. Thanks to you for sharing it with me, Susan! A new favorite in our family!

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  8. Pork chops and cabbage are some of my favorite foods. Thanks for posting this delicious looking dish. A dish you can eat any time of the year.

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    1. It definitely has a Germanic feel to it, doesn't it, Gerlinde? But the cheese and cream give it that French feel, too! Love it either way!

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    1. Now that you are out of the desert, you should, Carolyne!

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  10. What a great sounding recipe, comfort food indeed. I have never thought of cooking pork chops this way, I bet the cabbage has so much flavour!

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    1. I love Savoy cabbage, Caroline. It adds great flavor and texture to soups and casseroles such as this.

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  11. Actually, temperatures around here have been unseasonably cool, so a pork chop like this would hit the spot quite nicely.
    And your baked cabbage soup also looks incredible—I was meaning to blog on a very similar dish from Piedmont this winter (zuppa alla canavesana) but never got around to it.

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    1. Frank - my soup may be from the Piedmont region, considering the cheeses used. I will look forward to yours whenever you post it!

      Glad you are having cool weather up there = it has soared into the 100s for us!

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  12. This looks comforting and delicious indeed! Perfect for our cold and wet weather atm. I love cabbage, especially Savoy - so pretty and flavourful. :)

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    1. It is winter down there, isn't it? I do think Savoy cabbage is one of the most beautiful vegetables to photograph! Stay warm, Ngeun!

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  13. ...food is mouthwatering of course, but... that Mauviel pan! steals the show for me -- stefano

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    1. Stefano - I was so excited to get that pan when we visited Dehillerin in Paris at Christmas. Mark knew I was dreaming of owning a pan like that and he insisted I buy it! (He also knew that he would benefit from my having it!)

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  14. This will be a must-make come fall when I am buried in cabbage. I've always liked pork and cabbage together in the first place--and cream and Gruyere make everything better!

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    1. I can assure you, Inger - you will love this!

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  15. Well, here's another one added to my "must-try" soon list. Evan will just love this one! I agree about adding a little Dijon mustard sounding like a wonderful addition :) YUM!!

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    1. I can't wait for the temperatures to go below 110° so that I can make this again! Even I have limits!

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