Flæskesteg med Rødkål – Danish Roast Pork and Red Cabbage

Flæskesteg med Rødkål - Danish Roast Pork and Red Cabbage
Danes love their pork, enjoying it in all kinds a ways, from sausage and rullepølse, to patés and chops, and of course, to roasts. The most famous Danish roast is known as flæskesteg. Most common at Christmas time, a nice flæskesteg is often served with red cabbage and candied potatoes, which eventually results in next-day leftovers which are ideal on buttered Danish rye bread as smørrebrød.
For roast pork
  • 1½ kg boneless pork roast with rind (from blade end of loin is best)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon peppercorns
  • 10 bay leaves
For red cabbage
  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 1 small white onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
  • pinch of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Procedure for roast pork
  1. Using a very sharp knife (or a scalpel, saw or whatever else can puncture the tough skin), score the skin into strips about ½ cm wide.
  2. Sprinkle salt evenly over the pork skin.
  3. Cut bay leaves in half and insert them, along with the peppercorns, into the incisions in the skin.
  4. Set the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, then place in a cold over and roast at 200°C for about one and a half hours (until the internal temperature reaches 65°C) and the pork rind is crispy.
  5. If the meat is finished, but the pork rind remains soft, you can bump up the temperature to 250°C and continue cooking for 10 more minutes, watching to make sure rind doesn't burn.
Procedure for red cabbage
  1. Remove out leaves of cabbage, then cut cabbage into quarters and remove the white core. Thinly slice the cabbage with a chef's knife across the quarters width-wise.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the onion.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch over. Add the sugar and mix together.
  4. Add the cabbage and onion and stir to coat with butter.
  5. Add water, vinegar, thyme and bay leaves.
  6. Heat to a boil, cover and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Peel and core the apples, and then slice thinly.
  8. Add apples to the cabbage plus a little salt and pepper.
  9. Continue simmering for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding a bit of water as necessary (the cabbage shouldn't be allowed to get too dry - there should always be a bit of liquid at the bottom of the Dutch oven).
  10. When done, the apples should be pureed and the cabbage tender. Generally, the taste of red cabbage improves the day after cooking.
  11. Serve hot with roast pork and potatoes (for Christmas) or cold as part of an open-faced sandwich (for lunch any day of the week).

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