09 January 2011

Sauteed Cabbage, Potatoes and Bacon

Savoy cabbages make me smile.

I can't help it. There's something about those deeply lined leaves and their crinkled edges. There's also something to be said about the colour: graded blue-green tones with stark palid veining that remind me of pine trees' boughs laidened with snow.

There's also a bit of whimsy there and I can't help but to see if Peter Rabbit is hopping about the grocery store bins and shelves.

I can't resist but bring one home with me.

I know not everyone likes cabbage. Too many heads have found their way, boiled into a sulphurous and somewhat slimy end.

I suppose if that was my first introduction to cabbage, I'd feel the same way. But it wasn't. My first (and still, to this day), favourite way to have cabbage is as cabbage thoren: a dry stirfry made with black mustard and fresh coconut. No, I don't have a recipe--it's one that I want to get from my Dear Little Cardamummy. When I do--and when I adapt it to be my own--I'll post it.

It's not slimy or overcooked. There's no pungent smell. It yields slightly to the tooth but retains some colour and crispness. The mellowed green flavour is what cabbage, when treated with a bit of tenderness, should taste like. Or at least I think so.

When I bring home a curly green head of Savoy cabbage, there are few things more satisfying to me than this all-in-one dish of cabbage, potatoes and bacon. Last night's leftover potato gets cubed and sauteed in bacon fat and tumbled with slightly steamed cabbage. It's pretty much a non recipe-recipe--the quantities aren't written in stone, and the flavours can be changed to suit your taste with the addition of caraway, butter or even a bit of cream.

Cabbage, potatoes and bacon
Serves 4-6 as a main course, more as a side dish.

100g (3-4 rashers) bacon, chopped
olive oil
1 onion, slivered from pole to pole
2 garlic cloves, minced

450g (1lb) boiled Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed into 1cm dice (2 good-sized potatoes)
450g (1lb) cabbage (Savoy or white), cored and shredded
3-4 Tbsp water

a few drops of white vinegar

Frizzle bacon in oil, until half-cooked. Add onions, garlic as well as a good pinch or two of pepper and one of salt. Fry until the bacon is cooked and has rendered its fat. Remove mixture to a bowl, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible.

Fry potatoes in batches until tinged with gold, adding the crisped potatoes to the bacon mixture.

Tip the shredded greens into the pot and saute for a minute or two. Add water and vinegar and a pinch of salt. Lid the pot, letting the veg steam for a few minutes until the colour is vibrant, but the leaves are still crisp.

Return the bacon, onions and potatoes to the pan and stir well. Balance flavours to taste.


I'm a quill for hire!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This reminds me of one of my favourite Irish dishes. A healthy way to start the New year Jasmine.

Maria Birch said...

Can't wait to try this recipe. My Polish grandma used to make a similar dish. Thanks!

kellypea said...

This is such a wonderful recipe. It actually reminds me of how my mother made our greenbeans, so I know I'd love it with savoy cabbage. Fun chatting with you on Twitter!

Wendy@The Omnivorous Bear said...

Oh how I adore Savoy cabbage...I love the taste and the texture which remains even after cooking. That looks fab! (we also have a saying "not as green as I'm cabbage looking" which always makes me smile... as I am particularly wrinkly, like a Savoy!)

jasmine said...

Thanks, all

Its unfetteredness belies its decliciousness. Simple and hearty..just what's needed sometimes.