Don’t stick your nose up at the humble cabbage because braised cabbage, with carrots and onion, deserves high praise. The long, low heat cooking draws out the sweetness of the cabbage, carrots and onions while making it deliciously soft. Taking the foil off at the end and upping the heat produces nicely browned edges. It truly is delicious. We have made this recipe for years and like it so much we will often eat most of a pan ourselves!
This is a wonderful example of how a cooking method can produce superior results. And might I add that these ingredients are frugal as well as nourishing?
This is the recipe I have chosen to showcase from the cookbook, All about Braising by Molly Stevens. This book has some of the most wonderful sounding, slow cookin’ goodness recipes. From vegetable to beef, to chicken, to fish, this book has a wide variety of dishes. Most of the recipes are quite easy to put together they just need oven time. Slow cooked meals are perfect for this time of year. She also has very easy to follow directions, which is always greatly appreciated.
My notes to this recipe: Definitely follow the directions for the size of cabbage to use. If you use too big of one, it will not cook correctly.
World’s Best Braised Cabbage, Revised from the recipe by Molly Stevens
1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 large yellow onion (about 8 ounces)
3-6 garlic cloves, peeled
4-5 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch rounds (cut on a diagonal for a prettier vegetable slice)
1/4 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable broth, or water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Fleur de sel or coarse unrefined sea salt
1-Heat the oven to 325. Lightly oil a large gratin dish or a baking dish (9 by 13 inch works well).
2-Trimming the cabbage: Remove any outer leaves of the cabbage that is bruised or ragged. If your cabbage is more than 2 pounds, cut off some of the cabbage to make it two pounds for best braising. Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges and then lay in the baking dish. They can overlay slightly, and still cook, but try to do as much of a single layer as possible.
3-The Braise: Scatter over the cabbage the onion, garlic, and carrots. Then pour over the vegetables, evenly, the oil and the broth or water. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and the pepper flakes. Cover the pan tightly with foil, and place in the middle of the oven. Braise until the vegetables are completely tender, about two hours. Then turn the wedges over (they may fall apart a bit when you do this, and that’s okay. If the dish is getting dry, add a couple more tablespoons of water or broth.
4-The finish: Once the cabbage is completely cooked and tender (a fork should pierce it easily), remove the foil, and increase the oven heat to 400f. Roast until the vegetables start to brown (about 15 minutes).
For added oomph, she recommends adding some balsamic vinegar when you are turning the cabbage before roasting. Yum!