Posted at: 11/09/2012 10:14 AM | Updated at: 11/11/2012 9:30 AM
Braised Cabbage and Apples
from Chef David James Robinson
A delicious sweet-and-sour side dish to pork chops, or chicken – it goes with anything really. And while I think of this as a Fall dish, it’s good any time, and really good for us! If you traditionally don’t like cabbage, you may find you like this.
This is based on a recipe I learned from a chef at the Culinary Institute of America. He was a Certified Master Chef – a rare, elite breed. And he was certified MEAN, too (if there is certification for that). I have revised and updated the recipe, but it still reminds me of this brilliant and sour old chef!
§ 1 Head of Red Cabbage (or use green cabbage, a cabbage head is usually around 2 to 2-1/2 pounds)
§ 2 Green Apples, about medium to large size, cored and cut into half moons – you can leave the peels on. (We often use Granny Smith apples for their tartness).
§ 1 Large Onion, peeled and cut into half moons
§ 2 Tablespoons of Corn or Canola Oil
§ ½ Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
§ 1 Cup of Water
§ 3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar (you can use light or dark)
§ 12 Juniper Berries (you can find these in the spice aisle, or on your juniper bushes early in the season)
§ 1 Bay Leaf
§ 1 Cinnamon Stick (or ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
§ 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
§ 1 teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
§ More Water, if needed – set aside a cup of water and add to the pan if the mixture gets too dry and you need more liquid – add about ½ cup at a time of additional water – you don’t want the cabbage and apples to stick to the pan – there should be a little moisture to them. You need that liquid to braise!
1. Wash your head of cabbage, peel off any tough, discolored leaves off the head. Cut through the head of cabbage so you are cutting it in half top to bottom (and the stem end is cut in half). Use your knife to cut out the white, tough stem/core out of each half of cabbage. Once the core is out, discard it and chop the remaining cabbage into about 1-1/2 inch strips. Don’t worry if it falls apart, that’s fine. Set chopped cabbage aside.
2. Wash 2 green apples, take the core and stem out, slice the apple into half moon slices about 1-inch thick. Put those aside, too.
3. Peel one large onion, cut in half and cut into half moons about ½-inch thick. Set aside with your chopped cabbage and sliced apples.
4. Put your skillet or fry pan on a medium-high burner on the stove top. When the skillet is hot, pour in 2 Tablespoons of corn or canola oil.
5. When the oil is hot and starts to shimmer, put your sliced onion cut into half moons in the pan. After about a minute, add your chopped cabbage and your apple slices to the pan. Stir it all together.
6. Add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar to the skillet. And then quickly add your 1 cup of water to the skillet. Stir well.
7. Now add your seasonings, throw into the pan 12 juniper berries, 1 bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon), 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Stir in all the seasonings and toss everything with your tongs. (After you are done cooking, you want to fish out the bay leaf and the cinnamon stick – don’t serve those, if you can avoid it. They are not good eating!)
8. Stirring occasionally so that the mixture doesn’t stick or brown while it cooks and braises. If it starts to stick, or the pan gets dry, add your additional water about ½ cup at a time. The mixture should be wet like a relish, or moist like carmelized onions when it is done. It should take about 20 minutes to get the cabbage tender. Taste a piece of cabbage to see if it is tender, if not, just cook it a little more until it tastes good to you.
(Serves 4-6 People)
§ Skillet of Fry Pan (at least 9-10 inches wide)
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