For a truly special occasion, a whole pork loin roast cooked with cabbage in fragrant stock. It helps to have a meat thermometer for this one but it's not essential. For a real flavour experience, substitute sauerkraut for the cabbage!
4 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed and divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1.5kg boneless pork loin roast
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
1 kg grated fresh cabbage
1 (375ml) tin or bottle beer
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup (250ml) beef stock
4 potatoes, cooked and mashed
salt and pepper to taste
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In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of the crushed caraway seeds, garlic, salt and ground black pepper. Rub the pork with the dry rub mixture, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frypan over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the crushed caraway seeds and salt and pepper to taste. Saute for 8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Transfer this to a 20x30cm baking tray.
In the same frypan over high heat, combine 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil, half of the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds. Saute, stirring often, until this cooks down, about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer this to the baking tray and repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon of oil, the remaining half of the cabbage and the remaining crushed caraway seeds. Once cooked down, transfer this to the baking tray.
Heat the remaining olive oil in the same frypan over medium high heat. Place the pork loin in the heated oil and brown well on all sides. Set the roast on top of all the vegetables in the baking tray. Add the beer and molasses to the frypan and bring to a boil, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the frypan. Pour this and the stock over the pork roast and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 45 minutes. Turn pork over and bake until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 65 degrees C. At this point, remove the pan from the oven and let the pork sit on a cutting board for 5 minutes. Then slice the pork into serving size pieces. Discard the bay leaves. Return the sliced pork to the pan resting over the vegetables. Top off with the mashed potatoes.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned.