Saturday, December 11, 2010

Braised Red Cabbage with Caraway and Apple

With the last head of (green) cabbage I got from my CSA, I went for a raw preparation and made the fresh and crunchy Sesame Coleslaw. This time, over a month later and deep into the recesses of winter, I wanted to make a warm cabbage dish. After a bit of searching, I found this fantastic recipe for a hearty braised cabbage which, served alongside some chicken bratwurst from Pecatonica Valley Farm, made for the perfect dinner on a blustery winter night. All the elements are well-balanced; the sweet brown sugar and apples, tannic wine, and acidic cabbage blend together in a filling, but not heavy, dish. The leftovers are just as fantastic-although the texture is a bit different (you may or may not like the cabbage getting softer), the flavors have had a chance to more deeply infuse the cabbage and mingle with each other.

Braised Red Cabbage with Caraway and Apple
from Food and Wine
serves 8

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 head red cabbage (about 3 pounds), cored and shredded
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 Golden Delicious apple—peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the red cabbage and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the red wine and cook until evaporated. Add the cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Stir in the apple, brown sugar, caraway seeds and mustard seeds and season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 1 hour. Transfer to a bowl and serve. 

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