Chou Étouffée

Except as coleslaw and an accompaniment to often dreadful corned beef at Saint Patrick’s Day, cabbage gets rather short shrift in our cuisine. That is really a shame because this humble head is both nutritious and tasty. And it is a wonderful canvas on which to build a meal. This simple dish of smothered cabbage from New Orleans is easy and filling—perfect for a chilly evening. Serve it with rice and perhaps a crusty French bread.

I adapted this recipe from one posted at, the Web site of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.


Bacon – one or two rashers, about 50 grams (2 ounces), coarsely chopped

or substitute 30 ml (2 Tablespoons) bacon fat or oil

Cabbage – one half head or more to taste, coarsely shredded

Onion – one large, diced

Celery – ½ stalk, diced

Garlic – 2 cloves or to taste, minced

Pickled port meat – 100 grams (4 ounces), optional

Andouille sausage – 100 grams (1 or 2 links) sliced into 6 mm (¼ inch) rounds

Bay leaf – 1 or 2

Salt and pepper


Render the bacon in a Dutch over or other large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. When crispy, pour off any excess fat.

Still over medium-high heat, brown the pickled pork and Andouille sausage lightly in the bacon fat or oil, if using.

Turn the heat to medium, add the onion, celery, and garlic to the pot and sweat until softened. Fold in the cabbage and bay leaves stirring for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Pour in water to just barely cover the cabbage. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer gently until the cabbage is tender, about an hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


2 responses to “Chou Étouffée

  1. Karen November 22, 2013 at 18:51

    This sounds like a delicious cabbage recipe. Your pickled pork…is that something like the pickled pork feet that you can buy in jars.

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