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Here is a wonderful autumnal dish full of bright warming flavors and lots of depth. If you want to make this as the “one pot meal”, add another carrot and maybe a stalk or two of celery.
INGREDIENTS:1 medium brown onion, cut into ¼ inch dice 2 medium Chantenay carrots (or any other), peeled and cut into 3/8 inch thick rounds ½ medium head red cabbage, cut into 2 inch squares 1 cup red wine, something hearty and not too dry, or Port if you have some open would be great Water or light stock as needed 1-2 apples suitable for cooking, such as Jonagold, Rubinette, Mutsu, etc, cut into wedges around ½ inch at the base A 3 inch sprig of rosemary OR 2-3 leaves sage 1 sprig fresh thyme Salt and fresh ground pepper Sugar as needed Neutral oil such as grapeseed as needed
Optional:Small pieces of potato such as Romanze or Desiree Sausages such as Bavarian, Bratwurst, or Polish, either sliced in rounds or in half
Heat oven to 400°F.
In a 3 qt. sauté or chefs pan, or casserole, cook the onions and the carrots to lightly caramelize them. If using celery for the one-pot meal option, go ahead and add them just before you finish the carrots and onions.
Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper, then turn using tongs to coat with the oil in the pan and mix the ingredients. Cook to add color to the cabbage and begin the wilting process.
Once the cabbage has taken on some color and is wilting, add the wine and bring to a boil. If the wine does not come halfway up the ingredients, add some water or stock to raise the level.
Scatter the apples over that, then tear up the herbs and sprinkle those on.
Put a tight fitting lid on the pan and transfer to the oven. After ten minutes or so, taste the cooking liquid and a little cabbage. If you think the dish needs it, add some sugar to the cooking liquid to balance out the flavor.
Bake until the cabbage is done, around 20 minutes more, or 30 minutes total.
Check periodically to ensure the pan doesn’t dry out. If it seems dry, add liquid. When the cabbage is tender, the dish is done. If there is a lot of liquid left over, you could pour it off (a shame, really) or remove the lid from the pan and cook to evaporate the liquid, which will concentrate the flavors. You could also hold the lid on the pan and drain the liquid into a smaller pan and cook it down to almost a syrup and then drizzle it back into the pan for a more intense flavor.
-OPTIONAL- To make a complete meal in one pan, you could put the potatoes in the pan with the apples and then proceed. Around 10-15 minutes prior to the dish being finished, add the sausages, trying to gently get them into the cabbage. This bastes the sausages and imparts the smokiness of the sausage to the braise. Serve with mustard, shallot quickles, and the rest of the wine.
Chef’s Notes and Tips:
This dish can also be completed on the stovetop. Rather than inserting into a hot oven, just continue to cook on the stove at a very low temperature, checking the liquid level more frequently. The dish might take a little longer to cook, and if you add the potatoes, turn up the heat a little when you do, and be sure the potatoes are covered at least half way with liquid.
If you have already roasted (or otherwise prepared) chestnuts, this is a wonderful dish to use them in. Just add them when you add the apples, and be sure to cook gently and not stir too vigorously lest you break up the chestnuts. Another excellent addition is fennel bulb. You could chop it up and add it with the onions, or wedge it out and add when the apples would go in. You can cook with or instead of the apples. If you use fennel, avoid the sage I think, and go light with rosemary, perhaps subbing in marjoram.
Source: Chef Andrew E Cohen
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