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 NOLA.com, 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.