To learn more, read "In Praise of Cabbage" in our National edition.
Pork Schnitzel with Slow-Braised Cabbage and Paprika-Cream Sauce
Recipe adapted from Tim Wiechmann, Bronwyn, Somerville, MA
Yield: 4 servings (7 cups cabbage, 1¼ cups sauce)
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 40 minutes
½ package (about 7 ounces) thick-sliced bacon, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
1½ large white onions, thinly sliced (save the other half for the sauce, below)
2½ pounds (about 1 small head) red cabbage, quartered, cored and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ cup honey
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅓ cup finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 cup milk
⅓ cup heavy cream
About 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Half of a large brioche or challah loaf
4 (½-inch thick) boneless pork loin chops (about 1 pound total)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups brioche breadcrumbs (see above)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
About 1 lemon, to taste
1. Prepare the cabbage: Warm the bacon and onions in a pot over medium-low heat. Then dump the remaining cabbage ingredients in the pot and season generously with salt.
2. Cut out a circle of parchment paper that will fit flush with the inner sides of the pan. Cut a small circle in the center of it and place it flat over the cabbage. Cook over low heat, stirring every 30 minutes, until the cabbage has no resistance on your teeth and turns deep purple, about 2 to 3 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and cook, stirring constantly, until translucent but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika and let toast, stirring constantly, until it no longer smells of raw flour, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, then the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and let cook, stirring constantly, until just thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve.
4. Make the breadcrumbs: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Cut the brioche into small cubes and lightly toast to dry out. Transfer to a food processor and blend until very finely ground.
5. Make the schnitzel: Lay the boneless loin chops between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and pound with a mallet to about between ⅛- and ¼-inch thick. Place the flour in a shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.
6. When ready to serve, set a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Season the pork cutlets generously with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets in the flour, then egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs. Add just enough oil to coat the pan. Once hot, add two of the breaded cutlets and cook, moving often to prevent them from burning, until browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip, and just when the second side has browned, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook until the butter has browned. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the butter to stop the browning. Turn the cutlets in the lemon butter. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Wipe out the pan with paper towel and repeat with remaining oil, dredged pork, butter and lemon.
7. To serve: place a spoonful of sauce on a plate, top with schnitzel, then with braised cabbage.