Thursday 24 January 2013

Earl's Mom's Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

A few years back, we went to dinner at my sister's house and she served a red cabbage side dish.  It was tasty, and different from what we usually serve.  I really enjoyed it so I phoned her a few days later to ask her where she found the recipe.

"Earl's mom makes it," she replied, "And it's not really a recipe; just a way of putting things together."

"My kind of dish!"  I thought.

I've been making it ever since.

This recipe makes quite a large quantity so I use the leftovers to make borscht.  Two tasty meals from half a head of cabbage is a good thing in my world.  :)

I owe Earl's mom a great big thank you.

To make Earl's Mom's Sweet and Sour Cabbage, you'll need:

  • 1/2 of a large-ish head of red cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon bacon fat
  • 1/2 of a large onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 apple (Try to choose one that will hold its shape well when cooked)
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, plus more to to adjust the flavour later in the recipe
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • a generous pinch of cloves
  • salt to taste

Cut your half head of cabbage vertically into two pieces.  You'll have two quarters of your cabbage head, with part of the core at the bottom of each piece.

Remove the core from your cabbage quarters, then slice each quarter crosswise, into slices that are 1/4 inch thick, or less.

Transfer the sliced cabbage to a sink or bowl full of very cold water, and leave it to soak while you prepare the onion.

Melt the bacon fat over medium high heat in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. When the pan is hot and the bacon fat melted, add in your onion and saute it until it's tender and lightly coloured.

Reduce the heat under your pot to low.

Scoop the sliced cabbage from the water (I use a sieve to do this) and add it to the pan with the onions.

Cut the apple into 1/4 inch dice and add it to the pot, along with the teaspoon of cider vinegar, the sugar, and the cloves.

Stir the ingredients together.

Cover the pot and allow the cabbage mixture to cook - stirring it now and then - until the cabbage is tender and the mixture has cooked down.  This can take up to an hour.

When the cabbage has reached a consistency you like, turn the heat up just a bit.  Taste the dish and then add in more vinegar until it achieves a level of tangy-ness that suits you.  I added in about 2-1/2 tablespoons more.

Continue cooking and stirring, with the lid off the pot, until the vinegar has cooked off, then salt the dish to taste.

Serve piping hot.
This recipe is linked to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop  hosted by Premeditated Leftovers, The 21st Century Housewife, Zesty South Indian Kitchen, Elsa Cooks, Savoring Today, and Penniless Parenting

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