Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Red Cabbage and Bacon Braised in White Wine

Even though it is unseasonably hot and I have not been much in the mood for cooking, my vegetable project is proceeding along quite nicely. I met my friend Misreall at the Green Market the week before last, and one of the things I picked up was a beautiful baby red cabbage. I had not intended to buy it; it basically just told me that it was coming home with me. What could I do?

I did nothing with it at first. I wasn't sure what I even wanted to do with it, so I let it sit in the crisper while I waited for inspiration to come. I finally decided to braise it in white wine, along with bacon and onion. At the last minute I remembered that I had caraway seeds in the freezer and put in a half teaspoon of those.

I braised the cabbage in the white wine for only 10 minutes, which was long enough to let it soften some but keep some crunch. I decided on white wine rather than the apple cider vinegar with which it is usually paired mostly because I had an open bottle in the refrigerator that I wanted to finish off, and I think it was a good decision. The wine provided a refreshing acidity that complemented the heavier tones of the bacon-onion-cabbage combination. There was just enough caraway to punctuate every bite without shouting its presence, for more of that "what is that extra flavor in there?" vibe. At first even I couldn't identify it, even knowing that's what it was.

This would be perfect with pot roast, short ribs or meat loaf. It also made a pretty nice meal in and of itself.
Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

Makes 4 side servings

1 Tbsp oil
1/4 lb thick-cut lean bacon, chopped
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 small head red cabbage, cut into ribbons
1/4 cup white wine (or white wine vinegar)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water

Heat oil in large skillet. Add bacon and cook until browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove excess drippings, leaving 1 to 2 tablespoons in the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns translucent.

Add the caraway seeds and let them sit for a few seconds, then stir them into the onions and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, until the cabbage just begins to wilt.

Add the wine and deglaze the pan, then add about 1/4 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and lower the heat. Let the cabbage steam for about 10 minutes. Remove the cover, season to taste with salt and pepper, then turn the heat to high and cook for a few minutes longer to let the liquid reduce.

Combine the cornstarch and the water to make a slurry. Add it to the cabbage and stir until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

Exported from Home Cookin 6.46 (www.mountain-software.com)


misreall said...

That looks very, very good. I want to try and make some quicky pickled cabbage to see how it turns out, because there is a winter soup I make that uses mixed pickled veggies (mostly cabbage, with a little carrot and cucumber) as a major componant, and I would love to try it with my own pickle.

dejamo said...

Thanks, Misreall - I am actually quite proud of it.

I remember when you were looking for the pickled vegetables the first time you were making that recipe. How cool it would be to use your own!

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