“Cabbage: a familiar kitchen-garden vegetable about as large and wise as a man’s head” —Ambrose Bierce
I like cabbage. What can I say? It is not very sexy or fascinating. It just is what it is. But I like it. I like it with New England Boiled Dinner and I like it cooked to death in butter. I like it raw in salads like the Blue Cheese Cole Slaw and I like it as a garnish as in the Crispy Black Bean Tacos.
It is versatile and cheap and it is good for you. This is another little gem heavily inspired by a recent recipe in Everyday Food, one of the most useful cooking magazines for people who need to get dinner on the table night after night. The recipes are practical, diverse, and usually simple. This is a simple sauté of onions and cabbage that is then stewed in a sweet and savory sauce for a bit. It takes about 30 minutes, start to finish, and it doesn’t require too much oversight. If you are looking for a new side that performs admirably with pork or chicken dishes, this is a good one.
2 to 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
5 slices of bacon, cut into small bits
1 cup of chopped onions
1 medium head of green cabbage, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
¼ cup rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
¼ cup sugar (or brown sugar)
3 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
Heat the oil in a heavy pot and cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate. In the remaining drippings, sauté the onions and cabbage. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes until the cabbage is a bit wilted and has cooked down. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce in small bowl and then add it to the cabbage. Cook the cabbage for an additional 10 minutes, or until it is softened but still a little firm. Stir in the bacon and serve.
Note: Bacon can be a mess to try to slice before cooking. Consider using your kitchen shears to cut it. Another alternative is to freeze the bacon for 10 or 15 minutes before slicing it. Also, I note that you can use brown sugar because my mom reminded me that she used to make a very similar dish but with brown sugar instead of white. It made me wish I had made it with brown sugar to begin with, and explained why I like this recipe so much. Apparently I had it served to me as a kid. Of course, I probably turned up my nose at it. Sorry mom….sorry I didn’t remember and sorry I was such a picky pain.