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Help me improve my cabbage recipe?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Today I went to the store with no idea of what I was going to do. I found some nice savoy cabbage, so I built a dish around that. Problem is, I really have no idea why I did what I did, it just... "felt" right. And it was pretty good!

Now I'm wondering if I can make it GREAT (with your help)?

Here's what I did:

• Clean the cabbage and cut in 4 quarters.
• Heat pan on medium-high. Add oil.
• Cut onion in big pieces straight into hot pan, give it some color.
• Add cabbage quarters, give them some color.
• Add coarsely ground tellicherry black pepper & salt.
• Add cubes of ham and chopped garlic.
• After a while, slowly add a beer.
• After a while, add cubes of 2 boiled potatoes.

The pan stayed on medium-high heat the whole time (maybe 1/2hr total?)

Now it was good, but:

- The ham wasn't salty enough, kinda dried out and lacked taste.
- The cabbage was a touch too "tough", or fibrous. Yet I didn't want to overcook it so I served it like that.

My wife loved it but she said she could do without the potatoes. I liked it a lot, but I would have replaced the ham with pork belly - only she doesn't eat that.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 11
I like to shred cabbage quite finely, add to boiling water and cook for the shortest time. I, too, like it 'just cooked' rather than overcooked! Huge chunks of cabbage with the very fibrous 'core' portions doesn't appeal to me and that might be why it was so tough?
post #3 of 11
I would have thought the cabbage would have carmelized ahnd burned before it cooked in the center. Once you had your color, maybe a braise with a little chicken stock would have helped it cook more. You also might like a little hoison sauce in it. Not too much as it can be intense but it's good with cabbage.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!

Ishbel, cutting the cabbage finely is a good idea, for some reason I felt like big chunks last night, but fine morsels would probably help with the toughness. I think I'll try that next time!!

greyeaglem, the braising idea is kinda what I did with the beer - I also thought of using white wine, but I'd already poured the beer. In fact I really liked the taste the beer imparted.

There was definitely no burning at all, in fact I'd have preferred a little more browning! I got a little bit of browning at the beginning, but even on high, the cabbage was quick to release water and stop the browning.

I also wish I could find better ham, like something that was just cooked, instead of a big slice of deli ham that ended up tasting a little bland and dry.
post #5 of 11
Parma ham maybe, or hot italian sausage?
post #6 of 11
Savoy cabbage....
guanciale, onions, garlic, optional chili flakes......
saute guanciale, onions, garlic in olive oil
add thinnly sliced savoy for a quick saute

Or stuff the blanched leaved with cooked off (saute) onions, potatoes, garlic, ham or guanciale/pancetta lardons...... stuff, roll then braise in beer.
cooking with all your senses.....
cooking with all your senses.....
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm... stuffed cabbage braised in beer... hmmmmm... !! :talk:

Thanks guys for the ideas.
post #8 of 11
Maybe add a nice lump of butter with the oil, and also add the garlic and ham (I prefer streaky bacon) when you add the onion to give it more chance to develop some flavour. Chicken stock would be a good addition as mentioned Some caraway seeds can be nice with cabbage too.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I was also thinking about maybe blanching the cabbage before sauteeing it? Any opinions on that?
post #10 of 11
Yes I would definately blanch cabbage, especially savoy. it has some very thick veins and some very thin parts to which blanching would be an advantage. And if you are doing a quarter cabbage as suggested in your original post I cannot imagine the middle being cooked without the outside overcooking. I would leave the base stem on during cooking to help hold the quarter together and remove it when cooked. Savoy cabbage will hold a lot of water so make sure it is drained really well.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
That was very helpful, thanks a lot!!
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