Cabbage isn’t usually the kind of thing someone asks for. I mean, how often do you think, “Hmm…I could really go for some cabbage right now?” But this is cabbage you will actually crave because it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender and slow cooked with bacon.
Ok, so maybe the bacon is really the star here. But the cabbage is a worthy vessel to carry the bacon-y deliciousness to your mouth. Promise.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a winter veggie recipe for Parmesan Roasted Squash. In the spirit of eating winter foods in the winter, minimizing our environmental impact, honouring our seasonal climate, and saving a few bucks you might otherwise shell out on super overpriced asparagus that’s chewier than bamboo, here is another of my favourite winter side dishes.
Can I just say I did not even KNOW that cabbage was a thing people actually ate unless it was shredded and tossed in some sort of coleslaw vinaigrette? We did not grow up eating cabbage.
Even approaching cabbage in the supermarket made me slightly anxious. It’s just so freaking BIG. When I would purchase a cabbage for a homemade coleslaw during BBQ season I’d inevitably toss the leftover half a week later once I found it rotting in my fridge.
A pound of cabbage is, apparently, just a little bigger than a softball. So the pumpkin-sized monstrosities I would sometimes pick up must have been easily in the 2-3 lb range. That’s a lot of cabbage. No family can eat that much coleslaw.
But cabbage, like broccoli, is loaded with good things like vitamins, antioxidants and fibre. It can be a cheap and cheerful addition to your healthy diet, and cooking it reduces the volume (read: less chewing) and can help you get through an entire head without waste.
It’s also insanely low on calories. The bacon is obviously my solution to that conundrum….
Actually, it seems bacon is my solution to a lot of life’s culinary conundrums.
Like these Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers. Bacon.
And this Chicken Corn Chowder with Bacon. Bacon.
And this Bacon & Zucchini Meatloaf. Bacon.
Or this Fennel & White Bean Soup with Bacon. Bacon.
So let me just end with this. Bacon. Now go make it. Bacon.
- 1 medium head of green cabbage, cored & thinly sliced (or chopped)
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 5 slices natural bacon, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- 1 cup sodium-free chicken stock
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- lots of fresh black pepper
- In large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon & reserve.
- Add onion, garlic and & fennel, and saute 1-2 minutes, scraping up bacon bits from bottom of pot. Don't burn the garlic!
- Add cabbage and allow to stick to bottom of pan to get some browning, stirring occasionally. Saute 5-6 minutes until starting to soften.
- Add chicken stock, thyme, bay and salt. Stir thoroughly, then simmer uncovered 20-30 minutes until desired softness is achieved and liquid is evaporated.
- Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar. Return bacon to pot & stir to combine.
- Season with loads of fresh black pepper and extra salt as needed.