|BC: Before Cabbage|
A fridge purge, in other words. Good to do a few times a year, anyway, but eating up everything in what's been a fridge full of rotating food makes me feel — just a bit — virtuous. Either that, or I'm a sensitive about how much money we tend to blow on the holiday feasting and it's time to reel in the spending.
Part of the purge did involve a bit of cooking, but a hot dish of pork and apples — and a few other odds and ends lying about the place — was quick and barely any work at all. The juniper berries give it a whiff of gin; just the thing for a chilly night.
|AD: Already Done|
Smoked Bacon, Apple, and Cabbage
8-12 oz smoked bacon, sliced and cut into finger-width pieces
1 green/white cabbage, cored and sliced coarsely
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cooking apples, cored and cut into slices or small chunks
6-8 juniper berries, crushed
1 tsp sea salt
2 long peppers, crushed (or 1 tsp black pepper)
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbl red wine vinegar
1 Tbl brown sugar
a knifepoint of ground mace or a few gratings of nutmeg
Heat the oven at 350°F/180°C.
In a heavy cast-iron pot with a lid (I use a big-ass Le Creuset), cook the bacon over medium heat until browned and just lightly crisped at the edges. Add the onion and cook until it softens. Add the apple chunks and stir them around until they’ve got a bit of color, then stir in the seasonings and the cabbage. Add the remaining ingredients and cover. Pop it in the oven and cook 30-45 minutes until the apples are cooked through, the cabbage is softened, and the whole thing is piping hot.
Goes well with:
- If you've got a bit of country sausage languishing in the fridge or freezer, these biscuits ain't a half-bad way to use it up.
- Bacon jam. Some make it with coffee, but that's unspeakably nasty. Try it that way if nasty is your bag, but otherwise, my version with apple cider and a restrained amount of maple syrup is the one you want.
- Bacon dumplings for a wicked hangover. Don't delay. Make them today. Your future self may thank you tomorrow morning.
- Those grillades we're making today? A recipe I tweaked from New Orleans chef John Besh. Eight pounds of pork shoulder that will go into the pot this afternoon...and will be gone by this time tomorrow.
- Although we didn't make noodles for this one, a batch of homemade German egg noodles would've been a solid side.