Last week, I wrote about Daniel Boulud's cookbook Braise. I didn’t trash it but did mention that many of the recipes require exotic, expensive ingredients that might be outlandish for the average cook.
This week, I’m writing to ask if can I take it back.
Here’s why: I hate red cabbage. If given a choice between a spoonful of the stuff or watching the last season of Roseanne over and over until I die, I’d choose Roseanne in a heartbeat, even though she killed off Dan. Still, this month is being dedicated to me overcoming my profusion of food neuroses (see: Curried Cauliflower Soup)—and my boyfriend loves red cabbage. So, I thought I’d give red cabbage a final shot.
Since Boulud’s tome was still sitting on my kitchen counter, I cracked it, found the recipe for Red Cabbage With Apples and Honey, and got cooking.
Three hours later, I was greeted by a frugal, healthy vegetable concoction that transcended the ingredients of which it was composed. As one of those ingredients was bacon, that’s no easy feat. Sweet, slightly meaty, and lacking any of the bitterness of raw red cabbage, it was the side dish of my dreams. Boulud had knocked another piece of produce off my Most Hated list, and for that, I can’t disrespect his cookbook.
So, go buy Braise. Now. Because if the guy can do this for red cabbage, imagine what he can do for monkfish.
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 cups apple juice
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 4 ounces (about 5 slices) bacon, cut into 1-by-1/2-inch strips
- 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 head red cabbage, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
Put a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300ºF.
In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, finely grind the cardamom and coriander seeds. Bring the honey to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the ground spices, apple juice, and white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, and reduce the liquid by half.
Meanwhile, in a medium cast-iron pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the red cabbage and apples and cook, stirring, until softened, about 15 minutes. Pour the reduced honey-apple mixture over the cabbage and toss to coat. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven.
Braise for 2 hours, or until the cabbage is very tender.