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Officially, it is fall. Temperature wise, it really is fall. From two years ago, here is a consumate cold night meal: pork cutlets brined in sugar and salt, served with warm coleslaw composed of white and red cabbage and tossed with a dressing composed of walnut oil, olive oil, sherry vinegar and some sugar and spice.

You can prepare this dish is just over half an hour, a perfect pathway for ending a busy day. This recipe is from Pork, the lively new and serious exploration of pigs and porcine recipes by Phil Vickery and Simon Boddy.

As a point of disclosure, Suzen and I have not made this ourselves, yet. But we have plans. On a weeknight, after a busy days of teaching and writing, somes we both just want a simple but elegant meal. Nothing too heavy and definitely something swiftly prepared.

This recipe is perfect for those constraints. You can add some boiled potatoes, as shown in the picture, another veggie of your choice, or just go cutlets+slaw.

Juicy Pork Cutlets with Warm Winter Coleslaw

Yield: serves 4


For the brine:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the pork:

  • 4 boneless, rindless pork cutlets, ¾ inch thick

For the salad:

  • ¼ white cabbage, very finely sliced
  • ¼ red cabbage, very finely slice
  • 1 large carrot, peel and very finely sliced
  • 4 scallions, very finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 bunch roughly chopped fresh cilantro

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes with seeds


Put the brine ingredients into a stainless steel saucepan. Dissolve the sugar and salt slowly in the water over low heat, add the oil, then bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let cool, then top off with cold water to the original quantity of brine (1 ½ cups).

Place the pork cutlets in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel bowl. Pour in the cold brine and mix well, then let stand in a cool place for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the salad ingredients. I find the best way is to finely slice the root vegetables using a food processor fitted with a fine slicer attachment. Put the sliced a bowl with the cilantro.

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to a saucepan and gently warm; do not boil. Pour over the salad and mix really well, then leave in a warm place to marinate.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Drain the pork well, then pat dry with paper towels. Pan-fry gently for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with the warm coleslaw and a few boiled new potatoes.


Source: Pork by Phil Vickery and Simon Boddy ©2914 Kyle Books with Photograph © Peter Cassidy