Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Rotkohl (German Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage)

The Germans really have the whole pork and cabbage pairing down. It’s like the American version of peanut butter and jelly or cheeseburgers and fries. Except it’s a lot healthier and frankly, a lot more tasty. Germans frequently eat pork and cabbage together in all sorts of amazing combinations and different flavor profiles, from red cabbage and Schweinshaxe or schnitzel, to bratwurst and sauerkraut. Pork and cabbage are definitely a match made in heaven. 

One particular combo I love is rotkohl with some very simple, pan fried pork chops cooked in butter and topped with garlic and shallots. Nothing fancy here – just a really yummy pork chop with slow, cooked sweet and sour German cabbage. I like serving this meal with some boiled or mashed potatoes on the side for a well-rounded and very satisfying dinner.


Pork chops:

2 pork chops

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. butter

2 tsp. thyme

Salt and pepper to taste


1 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. butter

1 green apple, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

¼ c apple cider vinegar

1 c. apple cider

2 bay leaves

½ tsp. ground cloves (optional, but recommended)

Pinch of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

To cook the red cabbage, heat the butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Cook the shallots and apples for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, vinegar, apple cider, bay leaves , sugar, and cloves (if you are including them). Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and cook the cabbage for 30 minutes or until it is tender (but not mushy). Season with salt and pepper. 

While the cabbage is cooking, prepare the pork chops. Pat them dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Then heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the pork chops for 4-5 minutes per side, or until they are cooked through. Set aside on a plate. 

In the same skillet, cook the shallots on medium for 8-10 minutes, or until they are slightly caramelized. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for one more minute. Add the pork chops back into the skillet and heat through, spooning the butter/oil mixture over them to enhance the flavor. 

Serve immediately!

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