Braised cabbage is like the nerdy younger brother to the now hip fried brussels sprouts or effortlessly cool kale caesar salad. Grassy and cruciferous like its siblings, cabbage is simply bigger, bulkier, and (often) less flavorful. But if cabbage is prepared as it is in Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden's From A Polish Country House Kitchen, it has a chance at popularity.
First, chop a head of the red stuff into rough pieces, then send it on a trip in a red wine sauce. Once tender, finish the cabbage with silky burre mane (butter and flour mixture), and dot it with tart dried cranberries for a vibrant, silky side dish.
Why I picked this recipe: I don't buy enough cabbage. With simple comforting recipes like this one at my fingertips, I may change my tune.
What worked: Tender, sweet, and tart from the cranberries, Applebaum and Crittenden's cabbage makes for a brilliantly colorful side dish. The burre mane adds an elegant silkiness to the finish; don't omit it.
What didn't: I thought the clove was a bit overpowering. Next time, I'd go down to 1/8 teaspoon. I also seasoned the cabbage as it was cooking in stead of seasoning it entirely at the end.
Suggested tweaks: You could make this same dish with green cabbage or even brussels sprouts, if you prefer. Substitute white wine for the red to keep the colors bright.
Reprinted with permission from From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food By Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden, copyright 2012. Published by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 1 large head red cabbage
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red wine
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (30 g) dried cranberries
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Core the cabbage and chop roughly. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat and cook the cabbage until softened, but do not brown (or it will become bitter). Add the wine, chicken stock, and cloves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes; the cabbage should be tender.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter (you can do this in a small bowl in the microwave) and mix in the flour to create a paste. Stir it into the cabbage, add the cranberries, and continue to cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes, until everything is tender and thickened. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.