Substitute bacon for smoked pork, cutting it into bite-size pieces and cooking to just done before proceeding with recipe. Or, leave out all meat products, and make the dish vegan.
- 1/4 Pound smoked pork chops (see note), cut into medium dice
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, julienned
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 Pounds red cabbage, cored, shredded
- 1 Cup dry red wine, such as pinot noir
- 1 1/2 Cup chicken or beef broth or water
- 1/4 Cup sherry vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pears, cored and sliced or diced
In a heavy bottomed stockpot, cook the diced pork chop in the oil over medium-high heat until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add onions to pot; cook until wilted and lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add cabbage; stir in wine, broth or water, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Turn up heat; when liquid comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low (or place in a 325-degree oven), and braise until cabbage reaches desired doneness, usually 30 to 60 minutes. Check liquid levels, and add a little more stock or water if needed.
When cabbage is nearly done, add pears and reserved smoked pork; cover again, and cook until the pears are tender, about 5 minutes.
Correct seasoning and serve immediately, or cool and hold in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat, stirring occasionally, in a covered pan over medium-low heat with a little stock or water to keep it from scorching.