This evening, we picked up our farm box and headed home with it. In my head, I tried to count up what we had left from last week, what we’d need to make room for in the refrigerator, what meals I could make with this new bounty. August is always difficult for me; there’s too much food in the farm box to get around!
Since we had a new head of red cabbage, I decided to turn the older one in the fridge into the first braised red cabbage of the season. I chopped it and tossed it into the Dutch oven with some olive oil, salt, a lot of black pepper, caraway seeds, about a half-cup of dried currants, about a half-cup of water, and a solid glug of some fig-infused balsamic vinegar from my mother-in-law.
I let it simmer a bit, but I felt like it was lacking something. I toyed with adding onions, or sugar, or cider vinegar, or bacon, or chicken broth, or….
Finally, paralyzed by indecision, I resorted to the web; one of the first hits I got included all of the ingredients I’d been toying with. Hah!
Ingredients excerpted from “Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon”
- 1 medium head red cabbage
- 6 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, or other smoked bacon, cut into lardons (about 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/4-inch pieces)
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
I had some black forest bacon and a vidalia onion. In a separate pan (since the Dutch oven was already in use!) I fried the bacon, then tossed the pieces into the cabbage; while the onions fried in the bacon fat, I added some cider vinegar, brown sugar, and dijon mustard to the cabbage. When the onions were ready, in they went…and so did a nice dash of cayenne pepper. I left out the chicken broth, because I’d already added salt and water earlier.
It came out sweet and spicy and rich, with just a hint of autumn in the apple-and-mustard undertones.
Nat asked me particularly to write this one down before I forgot it, and I rather think that’s an endorsement. Next time, though, I’ll probably use the more traditional method in the recipe, rather than the after-the-fact adjustment method!