CHOP AND CHANGE
What’s cooking today: Kassler, potato and cabbage stew
This week, temperatures plummeted across South Africa, with rare dustings of snow in many parts of the country, including Gauteng, the Karoo, the mountains of the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and other high-lying areas.
This calls for a smokey stew that ticks all the boxes: it’s comforting, generously flavoured and nourishing.
With food prices as they are, many consumers are turning to pork as an alternative to chicken.
Incidentally, the advertising slogan, “Pork. The Other White Meat” was developed in 1987 by the Omaha, Nebraska agency Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt for the National Pork Board. It was finally changed in 2011 to “Pork. Be inspired”.
The latest NielsenIQ (NIQ) State of the Retail Nation report, which is based on barcode-level information of the market, scanned at 10,000 modern trade stores, of about 100,000 FMCG products, reveals that cooking oil has shot up by 40% over the past year, which is affecting demand for frozen chicken, so consumers are shifting to protein alternatives to poultry, such as pork and tinned protein.
Pork, which is perfectly paired with cabbage, serves as the backbone for this recipe. You could use Kassler chops, as I have, or switch it out to another smoked pork such as fillet, which is more economical and leaner.
I’ve used fresh white cabbage but if you have sauerkraut, even better.
Kassler, cabbage and potato stew
6 Kassler chops, sliced into chunks
1/4 cup olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp for seasoning before serving)
2 medium white onions, chopped
Four large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 green pepper, core removed and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped (for a stronger garlic flavour, also reserve some to stir into the stew before serving)
1 tbsp paprika
Two fresh bay leaves, bruised lightly
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp oregano
1 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp of hot English mustard
Salt and pepper
½ litre of chicken stock
1 cup of red wine
Two large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
1 stick of celery, chopped finely
¼ cabbage or a cup of sauerkraut
Brush the chops/smoked pork with a little olive oil and fry in a hot saucepan until crispy and browned. Be careful not to crowd the pan, or the meat will draw too much water, toughen, and be rendered pale and flavourless. Cover and set aside.
In the same saucepan, saute your onions in a little olive oil, add green pepper, some crushed garlic, paprika and potatoes. Saute for a few minutes, then add the meat and the rest of the ingredients, but hold off on adding the carrots, celery and cabbage/sauerkraut until the potatoes are almost cooked through. If the sauce is a bit dry, add a little water. Adjust the seasoning at the end by adding a splash of extra-virgin olive oil, extra garlic, salt and pepper.
Serve with rice, barley or dumplings/dombolo. DM
Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.