Top | late winter

honey-braised cabbage

(recipe, Sarah Gilbert)

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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. 1 to 2 Tbsp. bacon fat, lard or olive oil
  2. 1 small yellow onion, sliced thin
  3. 1 large apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  4. 1 medium or ½ large savoy or red cabbage, quartered, cored and chopped roughly
  5. ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  6. 2 Tbsp. honey
  7. salt to taste


  1. 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.)
  2. Add onion and apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage and stir well until the cabbage has been covered with fat (adding more if necessary).
  4. 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).
  5. Cook, as Paley says, "until meltingly sweet."