Cabbage gets a pretty bad rap, in my humble opinion. It's often relegated to a back seat or it's dressed in a some kind of soupy disguise. Sometimes it's just filler. I admit it doesn't smell great when it's cooking, but its healthy attributes overshadow that one minor flaw.
But it's the star in a couple of my favorite comfort foods, stuffed cabbage and New England boiled dinner. And I love cole slaw, as long as it's not dripping in mayonnaise. And Mr. Rosemary loves his pork and sauerkraut.
Cabbage is a great veg in its own right. It's high in Vitamin C, even higher than oranges! And loaded with roughage, and sulphur. It rivals kale for being a power food.
My sister gave me this recipe. She's a great recipe source; I know to trust her. She clipped this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. (I still clip recipes from newspapers, too. Do you?) The article said it came from The Splendid Table, but she couldn't find it on the website. She knows that I always try to credit the source here.
Although I knew Mr. Rosemary would like this dish, he would only view it as a side. There has to be meat somewhere for it to be a real meal. So I added kielbasi. I cooked the kielbasi separately, browning it then adding about a 1/2 cup of apple juice and deglazed the pan.
There's a lot of spice in this recipe; don't be tempted to cut back.
Sweet and Tart Cabbage Stew with Kielbasi
Adapted from a March 2010 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article and from “The Splendid Table Weeknight Kitchen Newsletter”
Makes four generous servings
extra virgin olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small (about 1 ¼ lb.) green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 medium to large onions, coarsely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 generous teaspoon each ground coriander and ground ginger
2 tablespoons each sweet paprika and dried basil
2 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
1/3 cup vinegar (red wine or cider vinegar)
1 cup vegetable broth or water
14 ounce can whole tomatoes
Water, as needed
1 pound kielbasi, sliced and sauteeed in a separate pan
Film the bottom of a straight-sided 12” saute pan with oil and set it over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the carrots, cabbage and onions. Sprinkle them with the salt and pepper and sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring them often, or until they’re browning. This is where the stew’s depth comes from. Stir in the garlic, the spices and sugar. Cook until the spices are fragrant, but no more than a minute.
Pour the vinegar into the pan and boil it down as you scrape up any brown glaze from the bottom of the pan. When there is no liquid left, stir in the broth or water, and the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them with your hands as they go into the pan. The vegetables should be barely covered with liquid. Add a little water if necessary.
Bring the liquid to a gently simmer, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes (check often for sticking) or until the carrots are barely tender. Uncover the pan and turn up the heat so the liquid is at a fast bubble. Cook off excess liquid, stirring the stew often to protect the vegetables from burning. You want the sauce to be thick and rich tasting with a sweet-tart balance. Add more sugar, vinegar, salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Add the cooked kielbasi.