Allow me to introduce you to the sweetest cabbage you ever did taste, and the sugar comes entirely from the cabbage itself (and perhaps the onions and carrots). Cabbage is an under-appreciated vegetable but this recipe will change the cabbage haters. Cabbage is surprisingly tasty (especially like this!), but also a good source of vitamin C and fiber. It is relatively cheap (cost and calories) and so filling I usually can’t finish a whole head of cabbage myself. However, this meal was so good, I feel like going out to get another cabbage to make it a second time!
The secret to the uber sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cabbage is the long braising. I have professed my love of long braises here, which yield delicious meals without much fuss. All you need is a long time to braise, a green cabbage, an onion, carrot, some olive oil, some stock (or water) a sprinkle of chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste. The result is simply divine. Here it is paired with a poached egg as a nice, complete meal. As a bonus, this dish is also great the next day as leftovers, although I’d suggest a fresh poached egg.
Cabbage is a popular ingredient in Eastern European cooking and braised cabbage is common to many cuisines (sometimes tomatoes are also included). It is mostly a side dish. This is my submission to this month’s AWED featuring dishes from Russia. My liberty was experimenting with braised cabbage, although this specific dish may not be entirely a Russian authenticity.
Braised Green Cabbage with Onions, Carrots, with a Poached Egg
1/2 medium head green cabbage, about 1 pound
1 large red onion, sliced into rough 1/3-inch slices
1 large carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1/4 cup good-quality chicken/veggie stock, or water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (do not skimp or else this will not work out)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I used my Aleppo flakes! yum!)
4 eggs, poached (if you want to eat it all at one time, otherwise poach the egg when you reheat the leftovers)
1. Preheat the oven to 325F, and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Peel off and discard from the cabbage any bruised or messy outer leaves. Give the cabbage a quick rinse under cool water, and dry it lightly. Cut it into 8 wedges, and trim away some of the woody core, leaving enough to hold each wedge intact. Arrange the wedges in a 9 x 13 baking dish. They may overlap a little, but you want them to lie in a single—if crowded—layer.
3. Scatter the onion and carrot over the cabbage, and pour the stock and oil over the whole mess. Season with a couple pinches of coarse salt, a couple grinds of the pepper mill, and the red pepper flakes. Cover the dish tightly with foil, and slide it into the oven. Cook the vegetables for 1 hour; then remove the dish from the oven and gently turn the cabbage wedges with tongs, keeping cabbage intact. If the dish seems at all dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Cover the dish, and return it to the oven to cook until the vegetables are very tender, about an hour more.
4. When the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil over the baking dish, turn the oven up to 400F, and continue cooking until the vegetables begin to brown lightly on their edges, another 15 or so minutes.
5. Serve warm, topped with a poached egg and sprinkled with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.