We had gotten back only the night before, Monday, after being away for almost a week, so the cupboards were almost bare, and Tuesday was not a Greenmarket day. Nevertheless, I knew I could still assemble a decent meal around virtually the only vegetables in the house, a beautiful red cabbage waiting in the crisper, and a few potatoes.
I removed some smoked pork chops from the freezer the night before, and the character of the next day’s dinner was decided.
I didn’t have any fresh herbs in the apartment, but I wouldn’t need them. I would have liked some kind of fresh allium for the Kassler, but I decided I could try a bit of celery as a substitute.
- chopped sections of one celery stalk from Lucky Dog Organic Farms, some of the tender leaves reserved for the end of the process, softened over a low to moderate flame in a tablespoon or so of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ that had been heated inside a heavy tin-lined copper skillet, two smoked 9-ounce loin pork chops from Schaller & Weber added, the pot covered with a universal copper lid and kept above a very low flame (just enough to warm the chops through, as they were already fully-cooked), turning the meat once, then, near the end of the cooking time (I went for about 7 minutes this time), a few more thin slices of celery added for a minute or so, the chops then arranged on the plates and the celery leaves that had been set aside earlier, now chopped, sprinkled on top, finished with a topping of a bit of horseradish jelly from Berkshire Berries
- roughly a tablespoon and a half of rendered duck fat heated/melted inside a large, heavy, enameled cast iron pot, one finely sliced 13 or 14-ounce red ‘beef heart’ cabbage from Tamarack Hollow Farm and 2 medium roughly-chopped shallots from Lucky Dog Organic Farm added and cooked, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage had softened slightly (about 10 minutes), then adding some salt, a tablespoon of lemon juice, and more than one teaspoon of a local apple cider vinegar from Race Farm, along with a sprinkling of freshly-ground black pepper, the heat reduced and the mixture cooked 10 minutes or so longer, or until the cabbage was wilted and the shallots softened, after which a little turbinado sugar was stirred in, followed by a few tablespoons of a mix of different types of raisins, and a tablespoon or more of red current jelly, the mix stirred well
- four medium Red Norland potatoes from Norwich Meadows Farm, scrubbed, boiled whole and unpeeled in heavily-salted water until barely cooked through, drained, halved, dried in the still-warm vintage Corning Pyrex Flameware blue-glass pot in which they had cooked, barely a tablespoon of butter added, seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, arranged on the plates and sprinkled with homemade breadcrumbs that had first been browned in a little butter with a pinch of salt
- the wine was an Austrian (Weinviertel) white, Riesling “Falkenstein” Dürnberg 2015, from Astor Wines
- the music was an album of piano music composed and performed by Philip Glass, ‘Solo Piano’, released in 1989