St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone and normally I don’t do much for the holiday. I’m not Irish nor do I fancy to drink gut-rot green beer. However, I am a fan of cabbage and hey, isn’t that something that ties my own Eastern European peasant roots with the Irish? Usually I stick with eating cabbage raw or lightly stir-fried but since it’s March and still a bit rainy, I decided that braising some cabbage would be the way to go.
My dad was always a big cheerleader for cabbage. There were only a few things he would cook and everything was always based on his Lithuanian ancestry: potato pancakes, kugelis (a potato style baked pudding) and cabbage. When my dad would be at the stove, inside the huge stock pot was a mess of shredded cabbage, bacon, chopped apples and some top secret liquids that made everything tangy and sweet and pretty damn tasty. This isn’t my dad’s recipe, but it’s pretty close, I think. I didn’t add any apples, but I know from experience that they’d go well in this dish. It’s great to eat immediately (and I’ve been known to drink the tangy cabbage liquids with a spoon right from the cooking pot) but it also gets better with age. If you want to make this vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth and add in some smoked paprika to replicate the smoky taste from the bacon.
braised red cabbage
1 head red cabbage, shredded
5 slices of bacon, diced
1 onion, sliced thin
3 T brown sugar
3 T dijon mustard
1/3 c apple cider vinegar
2 c chicken broth
1. In a large dutch oven, fry bacon until crispy. Add in onion and fry until wilted and soft. Add in shredded cabbage and toss the mixture around so that the cabbage picks up all those good bacony juices.
2. Add in the brown sugar and mustard and stir well. Add in the cider vinegar to help deglaze the pot and then add in the chicken broth and cover the dish. Simmer for about 1 hour.