Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Braised Cabbage with Peppers & Onions
Cabbage is one of Greg's favorite vegetables, and I enjoy it as well, sometimes even adding a little bit of julienned cabbage to my salads for extra crunch. While we'll often use cabbage to make cole slaw, deer slaw (a cooked slaw made with cabbage, carrots and Caesar dressing), various German dishes, and as an ingredient in soups and other recipes, I had never tried braising it until two days ago.
I bought a beautiful head of locally-grown organic green cabbage at Whole Foods, stripped off a few bruised outer leaves, quartered the head and then halved each quarter, and.....
Keep reading for the rest of the recipe!
1 green cabbage (about 2 or 2 1/2 lbs)
1 onion, preferably a sweet onion
1 bell pepper (green, red or orange)
1/3 cup poultry stock or vegetable stock, preferably homemade
1/4 cup olive oil or melted bacon fat
Seasonings of your choice (one or more of the following): Dried herbs, Kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, mace or nutmeg
Optional topping: Crumbled bacon or diced country ham
Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove any bruised outer leaves from the cabbage and cut into quarters, then halve each quarter to make 8 wedges. Grease a large baking dish (e.g., 13x9x2) with olive oil or bacon grease. Place the cabbage wedges in a single layer in the dish. Peel the onion and cut into wedges (I quarter and halve, just like the cabbage). Cut open the bell pepper, remove seeds, and cut into large chunks. Add the onion wedges and pepper chunks to the cabbage. Drizzle evenly with stock and oil/ fat, then sprinkle lightly with desired seasonings. Cover with foil and bake for one hour. Uncover and use tongs to carefully turn over the cabbage wedges, trying to keep them from falling apart. Sprinkle lightly with desired seasonings, re-cover and continue to bake for another hour. Uncover, increase oven temperature to 400°F, use tongs to carefully turn over the cabbage wedges, then return to oven (uncovered) and cook at 400°F until just lightly browned (about 15 minutes). Remove from oven and serve - top with crumbled bacon or diced country ham if desired.
PS: Don't be put off by the long cooking time: While it does take at least a couple of hours to cook, braised cabbage requires very little actual work on your part so you can do other things while it cooks. And the deep, mellow flavors and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth results are well worth the wait!