Braised Red Cabbage

Braised red cabbage
This dish will not be the same without the duck fat but that does not mean it won’t be equally as good. Bacon, bacon grease and even butter would all be good choices since I know most people don’t keep duck fat around or have access to it.

If planted midsummer red cabbage will mature just about the time of the first frost. As long as it is harvested before the first hard freeze it will last in storage until about the beginning of the year. Depending of the variety and the conditions under which it is stored it might last a little longer.

Whether you grow it or buy it red cabbage is a great winter vegetable that is under utilized by the home cook. It can easily be whipped into a tasty Asian slaw, turned into a comforting bowl of borscht or a wonderful braised red cabbage. This dish is perfect with pork chops or pork roasts and is also a fine accompaniment to ham or cured and smoked pork chops.

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup yellow onion, small dice

1/2 cup carrots, small dice

3 tablespoons rendered duck fat, unsalted butter or 1/2 cup minced bacon

1 small head of red cabbage, cored, shredded and rinsed

1/4 lingonberry jam or red current jam

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup water

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place an enameled Dutch oven or a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the fat you have chosen to use and let it melt. Add the carrots and the onions. Season them with salt and pepper and cook them until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the cabbage, season it with salt and pepper and stir it to coat with the fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir it well until combined. I like to cover the cabbage with a parchment lid which is nothing more than a piece of parchment paper cut into a round that fits snugly into the pan and right down on top of the cabbage. This lets moisture out but also keeps enough in to keep the cabbage moist. You can also just cover it with a lid, it isn’t that big of a deal.
  3. Cover the cabbage with a parchment lid or the lid for the pan and place it into the oven. Bake the cabbage for 1 1/2 to 2 hours stirring it about every 30 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the oven, taste it and adjust the seasoning and stir. Platter it up and serve.

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