Little known fact about me: I absolutely LOVE cabbage.
And lucky for me the other day I got a HUGE box of HUGE produce from the always-amazing Door to Door Organics that included the biggest head of Napa cabbage I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean look at the picture above…next to my iPhone because the pictures of it next to my head were too blurry. Monstrosity doesn’t even begin to cover the size of this thing! Colorado Proud month indeed…I’d be proud to have grown this, especially considering that all of my attempts at gardening have failed. Miserably.
So yes, I made this cabbage the way that we always had it growing up…seared lightly in butter and then letting it braise in its own liquid. What comes out is a buttery (duh), still crunchy yet perfectly wilted head of shredded cabbage. It’s simplicity at its finest!
I will admit I was looking to change it up by searing it in bacon fat and then sprinkling the crispy bacon on top. That would be amazing too…just make sure you don’t send your husband to the store and then forget to tell him that you need it. I’ve never done that but I – ahem – have a friend who has. The moral of the story is that you won’t have bacon. You know, just in case you were wondering.
This would also be great using olive oil as the fat, although I have to say I really prefer the taste of butter in this dish. But since it’s a vegetable dish and some of you might want to make a “healthy” spin on it then by all means. All I’m saying is make it and prepare to have your cabbage fears debunked!
- 1 large head of cabbage (I used Napa, but use what you have that’s local or in season or just plain available), core removed and shredded finely
- 2 Tbsp butter (Kerrygold is a fabulous one to use!), bacon fat or olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat a very large skillet over medium heat with the butter. Once the butter is melted toss in the shredded cabbage. You want the cabbage to sizzle a little since searing it on the outside of some of the leaves will sweeten it up. Stir a couple times to let it sear on a little more, then cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Stir every 3 minutes or so until the desired tenderness is reached (I braised mine for a total of about 10 minutes). Take a little taste to determine how much salt you need…I think you’ll be surprised that it won’t be much! Sprinkle with pepper, remove from heat, and serve hot with dinner or AS dinner!
*Note: if you choose to go the bacon route, I would crisp up about 4 slices of bacon, then reserve 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat and throw the rest away (or save it elsewhere). If you use too much the cabbage will be greasy!**