Skillet Pork and dumplings...


Talk about a pretty easy-to-make yet delicious dinner that's jam-packed with flavor: Skillet pork and dumplings!  And, better yet, it tastes as if The Motley Monk's Mom made it!

The Motley Monk isn't sure what's better about this dish, the sweet-sour red cabbage or the light and airy dumplings (what as kids, The Motley Monk and his siblings called "clouds").  Better yet, combined with the pork chops, this is one dish worth making anytimethe fall, winter, or spring months.

The recipe is pretty easy.

With the oven rack placed in the center position, pre-heat the oven to 325°.

Slice the cabbage, onions, and fennel.  Mix together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a two-cup measuring cup, combine the wine, apple juice, brown sugar, and vinegar to make the sweet-sour cabbage mixture.  Set aside.

Set out the dried cherries, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick.  Dice the cherries and return to the container.


Using four 1½" bone-in, center-cut pork chops, spray each with a little Pam and dust with salt and black pepper.


Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet (The Motley Monk's is 11" X 3").  Brown the pork chops on both sides.  Set aside on a plate.

Add one tablespoon each of olive oil and butter to the skillet.  When shimmering, add the cabbage mix and sweat it until somewhat soft (about 5 minutes).  Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cherries, and pour the sweet-sour mixture on top of the cabbage.  Stir everything together and bring to a simmer.  Layer the pork chops on top.  Cover the skillet and place in the oven for 20 minutes.


While the pork chops and cabbage are roasting, prepare the dumpling mixture.

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.  Then, using a wooden spoon, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients.

In a two-cup measuring cup, mix the apple sauce, apple juice, and egg in a small mixing bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the well and, using a wooden spoon, begin stirring from the center outward, gently mixing the ingredients until they are well-mixed (but not beaten) and hold together.  The dumpling mixture will be somewhat wet and sticky.

Using a potholder, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and set on the stovetop.  Using the potholder, remove the top from the skillet.

To form the dumplings, The Motley Monk uses a large metal spoon, the size of the one he uses for stirring ingredients in a stock pot (or, even easier, an ice cream scoop).  Spray a little Pam on both sides of the spoon or scoop (makes getting the dumpling mixture off of the spoon easy) and remove about -cup of the dumpling mixture.  Arrange the dumplings on top of the pork chops around the outside rim of the skillet and then in the center.  There should be enough dough for seven or eight dumplings.  (The Motley Monk make his dumplings larger than smaller because the fluffiness allows their flavor to shine through when dabbed into the sauce.)


Using the potholder, replace the skillet top and place the skillet back in the over.  Cook the dumplings for 12 minutes.  DO NOT REMOVE THE TOP WHILE THE DUMPLINGS ARE COOKING.  NO PEEKING!  (Removing the top allows the steam to dissipate and the dumplings will be flat.)  After 12 minutes, remove the top and using a toothpick, stick one of the dumplings.  The toothpick should come out clean.  If not, cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Once again, using a potholder, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and set on the stovetop.  Using the potholder, remove the top from the skillet and place aside on the stovetop.  (Remember the skillet and top are very hot.)

Lo and behold!  The clouds are fluffy and big and the cabbage sauce has thickened.  The aroma is fabulous!


Using the same metal spoon used to form the dumplings, remove the dumplings, setting them on a plate. Do the same with the pork chops.  Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick.


Divide the cabbage among four dinner plates.  Place pork chop sideways onto the cabbage on each plate and one or two dumplings in the opening.


Et voíla!  Skillet pork chops and dumplings with red cabbage.



Like the idea?  Here's the recipe:



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