Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Comfort Food

I made this Braised Red Cabbage dish as a part of Christmas dinner, and wow, was it a perfect side dish for a cold, rainy day. It paired so well with prime rib; I suspect it would do the same with any hearty beef dish. I'm not usually much of a cabbage fan so I didn't tinker with this one at all - and thankfully it came out just right the first time. It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, David Waltuck's Staff Meals, which is sadly out of print. Here you go:

Braised Red Cabbage

5 strips bacon cut into 1/4" pieces
4 T unsalted butter
2 medium red onions, halved and cut into thin slices
2 minced cloves garlic
3 T sugar
1 large head purple cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock (I like Pacific brand)
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup honey
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Start with a very large pot. Saute the bacon and butter over medium heat for a bit, then add the onions and cook until translucent (10-15 minutes). Add the garlic, cook a minute, then add the sugar and cook a minute more.

Add the cabbage along with everything that's left. Increase the heat to high and bring things to a boil, then reduce to medium low. Cover and simmer for at least an hour - maybe an hour and a half. You want the cabbage tender but not mushy. Remove bay leaves, add more salt and pepper if needed, and serve.

Note: getting everything together before you start this recipe is a must. I was trying to prep this and au gratin potatoes at the same time and arrgh!, my head almost flew off. Next time I will do my mise en place and things will be more organized, yes? Yes.

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