Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Savory Braised Cabbage with Bacon

My inspiration for this rich and satisfying side dish was the recipe for "Smothered Cabbage" in the classic cookbook "Greene on Greens," by Bert Greene.

My Savory Braised Cabbage with Bacon goes well with everything from fried or broiled fish to baked or fried chicken, pork chops, beef brisket, chicken fried steak, and even ribs or barbecue. Think of it as a tasty cold-weather alternative to coleslaw -- although there's no reason not to serve it year-round.

1/2 lb bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 hot chili pepper of your choice (or a mild sweet mini pepper if you're wimpy), seeded & minced
1/2 tsp ground dried savory
1 large cabbage (approx 2 to 2 1/2 lbs), shredded
1/2 cup white wine (or chicken broth if you prefer)
Salt & pepper to taste

Combine the bacon, onion, garlic, chili pepper and savory in a large, deep lidded skillet and cook, stirring regularly, until onion is soft & translucent and everything is sizzling. Add the cabbage and stir until evenly coated and glistening with the bacon fat. Stir in just a little of the wine or broth, cover, reduce heat to low and cook undisturbed for about 20 minutes. Uncover and stir in a little more wine or broth, bring back to a simmer, cover and keep cooking on low for another 40 to 45 minutes, periodically stirring in a little more wine or broth until all of it has been added and the cabbage is buttery-tender. Taste and season with salt & pepper if desired.  Makes 6 side servings.  Refrigerate and reheat any leftovers (the flavors will develop and be even richer the next day).

Zestfully yours,

PS:  In the South, lots of people like to add a few splashes of hot sauce to cooked cabbage, collards and other cooked greens. An all-purpose Cayenne pepper sauce is ideal for this dish.

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