One Pot Meal with Pork, Cabbage, and Kidney Beans

Why we like one-pot meals: fewer cooking pots and pans, so less mess; get them started, and walk away while they simmer, so less attention required; all the ingredients in the pot flavor each other so one delicious dish results. And in summer, we all have other things to do beside spend time in the kitchen, whether gardening, entertaining grandchildren and friends, going fishing up to camp, or wool gathering at the beach.

We’ve featured pork and cabbage dishes before in this column, but this dish seemed a little different. I have a farm volunteer here for a couple months named Cris Lerose who grew up in a big Italian family; his grandmother, Angelina Mango Lerose, used to put this together and Cris still makes it for himself and friends. He cooked supper for us the other night; and since the weather here turned cool and rainy, this combination was just the ticket, served with grilled summer squash alongside. And the cooking juices with stray bits of cabbage and kidney beans set us up beautifully for lunch soup the next day with the addition of more beans, and some freshly chopped kale from the garden.

Cris says he like to use pork shoulder whole, we used chops that we had on hand which worked very well. Cris also has used chicken in this way with cabbage and beans, “But, of course, it makes a whole different dish,” he says.

The recipe that follows sets you up for four servings, but it is flexible; expand or divide to suit the number of people you serve. You could make this in a slow cooker; you can make it in the morning and reheat it for supper. A green salad and crusty bread would be ideal accompaniments, and a glass of red wine.

Pork, Cabbage, and Kidney Beans
Serves: four
  • Olive oil
  • 4 pork chops
  • 1 small head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups cooked kidney beans (or 1 19 oz. can)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put a few drops of olive oil in a heavy pan over a medium high heat and brown the chops on each side.
  2. Spread the cabbage over the chops and sprinkle the garlic on top.
  3. Put a lid on the pan, reduce the heat and cook for about 45 minutes. Reposition the chops once in a while so that they do not stick.
  4. Add the beans and recover and cook for additional half-hour. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  5. Serve.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.