My new favourite vegetable: the humble cabbage. It’s a bit weird if you just eat it as is – but what if you slow braise it with a couple strips of bacon? Throw in a potato and what you have is mind-blowing, mouth-watering goodness.
I also seem to have gotten into the habit of starting each post with a disclaimer these days, and it usually goes something like this: I’m not a travel writer, I don’t travel very often, but here’s a travel tip anyway; or this isn’t a food blog, I’m not even a very mediocre cook, but hey, here’s a recipe. I now realize it’s a defense mechanism against my gnawing self doubt. Qualify your opinion before someone else does, as they say.
Well, my father-in-law apparently hated this dish, but here’s the recipe anyway!
Braised Cabbage, Bacon, and Potatoes.
What you’ll need
- 1 cabbage
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 large potato
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- One of those glass baking trays
- An oven
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
- Preheat the oven to 140°C (approximately 285°F)
- Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges.
- Spread the 6 strips of bacon evenly on the bottom of the baking tray.
- Place the 8 cabbage wedges into the tray on top of the bacon. Make sure each wedge is touching some bacon, try not to overlap the wedges.
- Skin the potato, and cut into round slices about 1 cm thick.
- Slot your potato slices between the wedges. If you don’t have space, use less potato.
- Pour in the chicken broth.
- Cover tightly with tin foil.
- Stick the tray into the oven and braise for 1 hour.
- Watch 1.5 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
- Take the tray out of the oven, and flip the cabbage wedges over. It should be pretty moist and tender at this point. It’s okay if everything gets messed up in the process.
- Seal with tin foil and braise for another hour.
- Finish the TV show, surf some Wikipedia.
- Indulge in the best braised cabbage… ever.
So the story: we were having a nice family dinner at a Macanese restaurant one day, and as I was about to bite into a nice boiled (not broiled) cod fish (what’s with Macanese cuisine and boiled food by the way?) my father-in-law says – very nonchalantly – that “the cabbage we had last week suuuuucked.” At which point a grenade went off in my head – that was my all-time favourite cabbage recipe, man!
He did make a valid point about the bacon being a little on the leathery side after being at the bottom of a baking tray for 2 whole hours – but hey that’s the beauty of it: the bacon juices get absorbed by the cabbage and potatoes, resulting in a mouth-watering combination of flavours and textures.
Give it a try, and let me know who you agree with!