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Playing Pork Chops with Cabbage Apple and Fennel and Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar Bacon and Chives


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, quartered, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 3 crisp apples, peeled, quartered, cored and very thinly sliced
  • 2 small onions, quartered, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 small or 1/2 large white or Savoy cabbage (3/4 to 1 pound) , quartered, cored and sliced 3/4- to 1-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Acacia honey
  • 1 lemon, divided
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops, about 1 1/4 inches thick
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
For the mashed potatoes
  • 8 slices meaty bacon
  • 4 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 6 chunks per potato
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2-3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounches grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • About 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
For the gravy
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, to taste


Serves: 4


Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange bacon on slotted pan and cook to crisp.  Finely chop.

While the bacon cooks, place potatoes and garlic in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Salt water and cook potatoes to tender. Drain and pass potatoes through a  food mill or ricer set over the hot pot. Stir in milk, butter, cheese, salt, white pepper, nutmeg, chives and 3/4 of the chopped bacon. Adjust seasoning to taste and cover to keep warm.  (If you are holding potatoes for a long period of time—an hour or more—place pot with potatoes in larger pan with simmering water to create a bain-marie.

For the gravy, melt butter in a saucepot or skillet. Add peppers, whisk in flour, stocks and Worcestershire. Cook to thicken, add salt to taste and lower heat.

For the cabbage, heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons oil, fennel, apples, onion, cabbage, salt, pepper and thyme. Sauté 12-15 minutes to tender-crisp, add 1 cup water and honey let it absorb 5 minutes more. Add juice of 1/2 lemon just before serving.

For the chops, heat a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 2 turns of pan. Wipe around pan with a paper towel to evenly coat the bottom then add chops. Cook 10 minutes, turning occasionally, douse chops with stock and juice of half a lemon. Reduce heat and evaporate liquids; remove from heat.

Serve chops with potatoes topped with gravy and remaining bacon, with extra gravy for and the cabbage alongside.