Red Cabbage and Bacon
I cook this recipe and Shrimp Fried Rice in the same 10" pan with straight sides that are 2.5" to 3" high. If you don't have a pan this size, or if you don't have a lid that fits it, you can use a 4 or 5 quart pot or dutch oven. A cooking vessel with a lid is a must for this recipe.
For the bacon, I prefer black forest bacon from the Whole Foods meat counter. It is salty and sweet which is how I like my bacon.
- 4 generous servings
- I like to eat this with a sausage or with a grilled cheese sandwich.
- 1/2 head purple cabbage, halved, cored and sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 3 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2" lardons
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 oz Apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 4 oz Beer (pale ale or IPA)
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
- Black pepper
Mise en place
(Set yourself up for success before you start cooking)
- Prepare the cabbage. If you are starting with a whole cabbage, cut the cabbage in half through the stem. Cut one of the halves in half through the stem – creating 2 "quarters" of the cabbage – and save the other half for a future use. Slice out the core, remove the outermost layer of cabbage leaves and slice into thin strips.
- Cut the onion in half through the root and then slice thinly into half moons. If you aren't sure how to do that, click here and follow steps 1 & 2.
- Cut the bacon into lardons – this just means thin strips. Stack the slices of bacon and lay them horizontally on your cutting board. Then cut from right to left – if you are right handed – into strips that are 1/4" to 1/2" thick at the most. I recommend doing this on a separate cutting board.
- Wash the apple
- Pour some of the beer in a glass so that you can drink it while you are cooking. Make sure you save the 4 ounces that you need to add to the cabbage later.
Heat your cooking vessel over medium heat. Add the bacon and stir every two minutes. In 8 to 10 minutes the bacon should be crispy and rendered. Rendered just means that the fat has been cooked out. That is what makes bacon crispy and creates the "grease" in your pan.
Line a plate with a paper towel and transfer the bacon to the plate. Use another paper towel or two to sop up the excess fat from your pan. Leave a thin coating of fat on the bottom of the pan.
Add half of the onion, half of the cabbage and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Remove the lid. At this point the cabbage and onion should be cooked down enough so that you can add the remaining cabbage, onion, and another 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Mash down the cabbage and onion so that you can put the lid on. Cook for 5 minutes.
While the cabbage is cooking, it is time to dice the apple. Cut the four "cheeks" off of the core of the apple. Cut one cheek into 1/4" slices. Rotate 90 degrees and slice to create a 1/4" dice. Repeat with the three remaining cheeks.
Give the core to your roommate, spouse or significant other so that they can nibble away at the remaining apple.
When 5 minutes is up, stir the cabbage well, add the apple and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook another 5 minutes. At this point we are "cooking out" the liquid from the cabbage so that we can evaporate it.
Combine the beer, apple cider vinegar, dijon and paprika. Stir well.
Uncover, stir well and turn the heat up to medium high. Stir every minute. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. You can tell how much liquid in in the pan by moving the cabbage so that you can see the bottom of the pan.
When most of the liquid has evaporated, add the beer, vinegar and mustard mixture. Stir well and cook for one minute. Then cover and reduce heat to low.
After five minutes, stir. Cover and cook for another five minutes.
Remove the lid, stir well, and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.
Add half of the bacon to the cabbage. Stir well and remove from the heat.
When you serve, sprinkle the remaining bacon on top of the cabbage.