(Czech braised cabbage)
Braised cabbage is a very popular side vegetable in Central Europe, often served with roast meats and dumplings. Cabbage is transformed by a slow simmer, becoming meltingly tender and subtly sweet.
This easy-to-cook vegetable dish is called dušené zelí in Czech, gedünstetes Kraut in German, kapusta duszona in Polish.
4 to 6 servings
- Oil, butter or lard -- 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Onion, chopped -- 1
- Green or Savoy cabbage, cored and chopped or shredded -- 1 head
- Water or stock -- 2 cups
- Caraway seeds -- 1 to 2 tablespoons
- Bay leaf -- 1
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Heat the oil, butter or lard in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium flame. Add the onions and saute until cooked through and translucent, around 3 to 4 minutes. Working in batches, add the cabbage to the pot, sauteing each addition until it is wilted down.
- Stir the remaining ingredients into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cabbage is cooked through and tender.
- Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with roast meats and noodles or dumplings
Braised Cabbage Variations
- Vegetables: Saute some chopped carrots or bell peppers along with the onions for added color and flavor. You can use 1 pound of rinsed sauerkraut instead of cabbage if you like. Or use a mix of half cabbage and half sauerkraut.
- Seasonings: Use chopped bacon or salt pork instead of the oil or fat to give the cabbage a pleasant smokiness. Add some chopped parsley, dill or a few juniper berries.
- Substitute a light white wine, such as a riesling or gewürztraminer, for the water or broth
- The cabbage can be finished in a warm (350°F) oven if you need to free up your stovetop.