It’s hard to get really excited by cabbage—it seems so ordinary! But when I was in southern Germany recently, I enjoyed some truly outstanding cabbage with pork.

I knew instantly what made it so good: the cabbage was cooked low and slow in plenty of pork fat, and the pork served alongside was incredibly juicy. It was a memorable meal, and that wasn’t just the German beer talking.

 

The first thing I did when I returned home was to buy a head of green cabbage and some center-cut pork chops. I decided to brown the pork and then cook the cabbage in the rendered pork fat and juices. When the cabbage was almost tender, I added an apple for sweetness, put the pork chops back in the pan, and finished cooking the everything in the oven.

The resulting dish—just nine ingredients!—was bursting with flavor. The long, slow cooking made the cabbage and apples extra sweet, and the pork juices gave it a savory, meaty depth.

It was like I was right back in Germany.