Top | late winter
(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)
I have never been a cabbage eater, but upon flipping through Vitaly Paley’s cookbook I took courage in his enthusiasm. At People’s Co-op one week in January, there were only a few types of vegetables from Oregon, and one was savoy cabbage. I bought it and set forth into new territory. Paley’s description of the cooking time -- “until it is meltingly sweet” -- had me hooked and that night, I devoured four bowls. Since then, I have made the cabbage many times, sometimes in the oven and sometimes on the stovetop, with several different cabbages, and served it with corned beef; in soup; alongside mashed potatoes; alone; with sausages; with toast; every kind of way.
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. bacon fat, lard or olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 medium or ½ large savoy or red cabbage, quartered, cored and chopped roughly
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- salt to taste
- Heat oil in a large ovenproof pan (a cast-iron skillet or a "braiser" both work well) over medium heat. (Sometimes I cook some bacon ends to render the fat, eat the bacon, then start cooking the cabbage dish. Yum. Paley wants you to put the bacon in the cabbage, but I don't have that much reserve.)
- Add onion and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage and stir well until the cabbage has been covered with fat (adding more if necessary).
- Pour in the vinegar, honey and salt, cover and put into the oven, set to 300 degrees (you don't really need to preheat it as the cabbage isn't fussy).
- Cook, as Paley says, "until meltingly sweet."