Classic partners – pork, apples and cabbage – combine with barley in this hearty oven-baked meal. Adding the elements to the oven in stages allows each to cook for just the right amount of time. The simple sauce, made with milk, is the perfect finishing touch for a dinner the whole family will love.
Preheat oven to 375 °F (190 °C). Butter a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) glass baking dish.
In a glass measuring cup in the microwave, or in a small saucepan, bring broth and 1/4 cup (60 mL) water to a boil on high.
In prepared baking dish, combine barley and boiling broth mixture. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake for 25 minutes, until barley is slightly softened.
Meanwhile, sprinkle pork all over with about 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) each of the salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, melt half of the butter over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook, turning to brown all sides, for about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add sliced cabbage, dill, caraway seeds (if using) and half of the remaining salt and pepper to the skillet; sauté for about 5 minutes or until cabbage is wilted. Pour in remaining 1/4 cup (60 mL) water. Remove from heat.
Remove baking dish from oven. Stir cabbage mixture into barley and spread out in dish; nestle pork in the centre of the dish. Cover again with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
While pork bakes, return skillet to medium heat; add remaining butter and swirl to coat pan. Add onion, apples and remaining salt and pepper; sauté for about 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Whisk flour and mustard into milk; gradually pour into skillet, stirring. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring often. Boil, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
Uncover baking dish and pour sauce evenly over top. Bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of pork reads 160 °F (71 °C). Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes then slice pork across the grain and serve with barley and sauce.