Braised Cabbage with Bacon
I am sure you all anxiously awaiting the results of last week’s giveaway and probably wondering why I am going to make you read about cabbage of all things, but bear with me. I promise that this is not your grandma’s boiled cabbage, and I will announce the winner of Everyday Food’s “Fresh Flavor Fast” at the end.
A year and a half ago, on my and Ryan’s first St. Patrick’s Day living together, I followed in my mother’s footsteps by making corned beef and cabbage for dinner. I was really excited to make the dish for him since he kept reminding me that he is part Irish and this was “his holiday”. Unfortunately Ryan hated it. HATED it. I think it might be the only thing I’ve ever made for him that he refers back to with disapproval. More than anything else served that night, he detested the cabbage. To further make my point about how much he disliked this meal, I think it was the beginning of March this year when Ryan asked me, fear in his voice, “We don’t have to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day again, do we?” Apparently it scarred him for life.
Now, to be fair, cabbage isn’t exactly on the top of my favorite vegetables list either. I don’t like coleslaw, and aside from throwing some in vegetable soups, I never buy cabbage. I wouldn’t have even known how to serve cabbage prior to this recipe, but I found myself with most of a bag of shredded cabbage leftover after a recent foray into fish tacos. Not wanting to waste it, I searched my delicious bookmarks and came across this recipe from Jamie Oliver on Sarah’s Cucina Bella. Being a strong believer in the idea that bacon makes everything better, I decided that this was worth a shot. As you can imagine, Ryan was skeptical at best. When he saw the bag of cabbage, he asked, again with fear in his voice, “What is that for?”
Knowing how strongly against cabbage Ryan was going into this, I want you to understand what a feat it was when he said this, “It’s not bad!” See, I told you, it’s not your typical cabbage. This was so easy to prepare, fairly healthy (if you cut back on the bacon, like I did), and really tasty. I was initially a little shocked by the flavor because I think I was expecting sauerkraut since that is sort of what it looked like to me, but once I changed my expectations, I was quite pleased. I didn’t know what “two pats” of butter was equivalent to, so I used a full tablespoon and would probably cut that back next time as it was a bit too buttery for me. The texture, however, was spot on. I loved that it still had a little bite to it, not soggy or overcooked at all. The main change I made to this recipe was to use already cooked bacon which I blotted the oil off of, crumbled, and added to a dry pan with a little vegetable oil. The original recipe calls for browning the bacon and using the bacon grease which I’m sure would be delicious, but I was trying to cut back on the saturated fat.
Bottom line: bacon does make everything better and cabbage has gotten a bad rap over the years!
Braised Cabbage with Bacon
3 slices of lower sodium bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon, vegetable oil, and garlic. Stir well. Cook for about a minute, just until garlic starts to color. Add the Worchestershire sauce and butter. Stir well. Add the cabbage and toss well with the bacon mixture.
Turn up the heat to high and add the chicken stock. Cover the pan and cook for five minutes. Remove the cover, stir and cook for an additional five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for, the winner of the Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food “Fresh Flavor Fast” giveaway, thanks to random.org‘s random number generator, is:
#21 – Amy! Congrats to Amy, and thank you to everyone who entered. I truly appreciate each and every one of you.