Thursday, March 7, 2013

Braised Cabbage Is My Vegetable Boyfriend

{braising, wine}
I recently listed cabbage as one of my favorite ordinary yet remarkable things. Please allow me to me explain.

I get it: This pudgy green fellow is not much to look at. You may pass by his bald head and pale complexion at the supermarket without a second glance. In the past, I'd only buy Cabbage to shred for taco night, or to boil on St. Paddy's. But about a year ago, I discovered what naughty things braising does to this portly lad, and I fell in love. Hidden in the dark below foil, laying in a warm bed of onions and carrots, wearing nothing but a blanket of simple spices, oil and wine, simmering slowly this homely, bitter man transforms into the sweetest tanned crucifer I've ever had. Braised Cabbage is a revelation. A nutty, musky, comforting, buttery, caramelized revelation.

My vegetable boyfriend is a nice side dish, but you can make him a complete meal by topping with a poached egg or other protein. We braised Cabbage last weekend and paired him with this meatloaf. NOTE:  I always hated meatloaf, until this meatloaf rocked my world.

This recipe is super easy, but you need two hours for braising. It also reheats nicely in the micro. I will be making this for St. Paddy's with corned beef!

Braised Cabbage Is My Vegetable Boyfriend Recipe
Adapted from here

Medium head of green cabbage (approx 2 pounds)
One large yellow onion, quartered
4 - 5 large carrots, cut in 1/4 inch coins
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth, or water in a pinch (wine or broth are best)
1/4 cup olive oil
Small pinch of red pepper flakes (don't go nuts - maybe 1/8 teaspoon)
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Clean up the cabbage and cut into 6 - 8 large wedges, cutting out the woody stem.
3. Put the cabbage in a single layer, nestled closely in a baking dish
4. Nestle in the onion wedges
5. Scatter the carrots all over
6. Pour the wine/broth and the olive oil over the whole thing
7. Sprinkle with spices
8. Cover tightly with foil
9. Bake for one hour
10. After one hour, turn the cabbage, onions, carrots over, reseal with foil, put back in for another hour.
11. After 2 hours, turn oven up to 400 degrees and bake uncovered for 15 minutes, or until golden.
12. Enjoy!

{braised cabbage and meatloaf}

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