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    World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage

    Source of Recipe

    Recipe from "All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking", by Molly Stevens (WW Norton)

    Recipe Introduction

    Molly Stevens says, "Once you read through the recipe, you’ll see that there’s not much to it at all. Indeed, after you make the dish once, you won’t need a recipe—it’s that simple. The cabbage here is plain old green cabbage, and the seasonings are coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. The extended cooking time renders the cabbage intensely tender and sweet. If you stock fleur de sel in your pantry, a sprinkle before serving adds a crunchy counterpoint to the supple cabbage; if not, any coarse sea salt will have a similar effect. Serve as a wintertime side dish or as an appealing vegetarian supper with beans or mashed potatoes." Let me say that I have never liked cooked cabbage - the smell, strong flavor and 'squeekiness' just turned me off. Mike likes it, though, and recently I've been seeing lots of cabbage posts on eGullet that looked really good. Bruce at eGullet recommended this recipe to me. I actually liked it and Mike thought it was great. No 'smelliness' - I guess because of the slow oven braise. The flavor is mellow and almost sweet and there is no squeekiness! I'm really glad I tried this recipe! Note that it cooks for 2 hours. But it only takes a moment to put it together and you can make it the day before.

    Recipe Link:

    List of Ingredients

    1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
    1 large yellow onion (about 8 ounces), thickly sliced
    1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
    1/4 cup chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, or water
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
    Fleur de sel or coarse sea salt


    Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a large gratin dish or baking dish (9-by-13-inch works well).

    Trimming the cabbage: Peel off and discard any bruised or ragged outer leaves from the cabbage. The cabbage should weigh close to 2 pounds (if you don’t have a kitchen scale, consult the grocery store receipt). If the cabbage weighs more than 2 pounds, it won’t fit in the baking dish and won’t braise as beautifully. To remedy this, cut away a wedge of the cabbage to trim it down to size. Save the leftover wedge for salad or coleslaw. Then cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Arrange the wedges in the baking dish; they may overlap some, but do your best to make a single layer.

    The braise: Scatter in the onion and carrot. Drizzle over the oil and stock or water. Season with salt, pepper, and the pepper flakes. Cover tightly with foil, and slide into the middle of the oven to braise until the vegetables are completely tender, about 2 hours. Turn the cabbage wedges with tongs after an hour. Don’t worry if the wedges want to fall apart as you turn them; just do your best to keep them intact. If the dish is drying out at all, add a few tablespoon of water.

    The finish: Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil, increase the oven heat to 400, and roast until the vegetables begin to brown, another 15 minutes or so. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with fleur de sel or other coarse salt.

    Serves 6

    NOTE: Wine: The rich, aromatic whites of Alsace (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, or a dry Gewürztraminer) make the best possible match for braised cabbage.
    Working Ahead: Like many braises, this cabbage tastes even better the next day, either at room temperature or warmed in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.




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