Butter Braised Cabbage with Bacon

December 28, 2020

You cannot go wrong with a side dish when it includes both butter and bacon. The salty and smoky flavors in the bacon are absorbed into the cabbage and the butter creates a silky sauce. The apple cider vinegar flavor is tangy and sweet and a nice counterpoint to your rich braised cabbage.

Cabbage’s Best Angle

Braising, or cooking low and slow, is a relaxed and efficient way to pull your dinner together. You can get your braise started cooking and finish up the other components of the meal in the meantime! Braised cabbage is on its way onto your list of favorite weeknight sides. I like using red cabbage in this recipe because of the bright color. However, green cabbage would work just as well!

Braising 101

Braising in a Dutch oven makes my heart swell. I remember investing in a good Dutch oven right after I was married. When the big heavy pot arrived, I felt like we had just gained a new member of the family. I loved it so much– I kept it out all the time on the stovetop just to admire this new essential piece. That fall and winter, I braised anything that could be braised and fell in love with this simple, satisfying cooking method.

While it’s not necessarily “quick”, the wonderful aromas that will fill your home after hours of sumptuous slow cooking will be worth it. The ease of this method can’t be beat! It’s not at all complicated or hand’s on, yet the results yield big flavors. The process of combining a few ingredients together with just a bit of liquid and securing the lid to peacefully simmer away is good for the home cook’s soul. 

The Method

  • Brown your meat and/or vegetables in the Dutch oven on top of the stove. 
  • Pour the liquid of your choice (wine, stock, water) over the meat and/or vegetables, until it is about 1/3 of the way up.
  • Cover and cook on low heat on top of the stove or in the oven for an extended period of time. Low and slow is the name of the game! A tight lid is essential to trap all of the flavor. With the moisture locked in, the braising liquid will infuse everything in the pot. Before you know it, you get extremely flavorful meat or vegetables! The long and slow cooking also breaks down the fibers in the food, so you get very tender results.

Ingredients Best Suited for Braising

  • Use tougher, less expensive cuts of beef like chuck, brisket, rump roast, and round. When it comes to poultry and pork, use bone-in pieces, a blade roast, thick pork chops or “country style” ribs. Any cubed up stew meat is also a great candidate for braising. The process makes these otherwise tough cuts taste like a million bucks and cut like butter.  
  • Sturdy leafy vegetables like cabbage and collards, and hard vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, and beets become soft, silky, and permeated with flavor. Check out my recipe below for the best braised cabbage you will ever have!
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Butter-Braised Cabbage with Bacon


  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Description

You know that you cannot go wrong with a side dish when it includes both butter and bacon. Because of this, you end up with the most delicious cabbage dish known to man. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 strips (7 ounces) thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Cook the bacon in a large high-sided saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until crisp, 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crisped bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve; do not discard the drippings.
  2. Add the butter to the pan with the bacon drippings, followed by the onions. Cook until the onions begin to sweat, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, vinegar and cabbage. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid from the cabbage and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir the crisped bacon into the cabbage and season with salt and pepper. 

Notes

I particularly love serving this side dish alongside fish. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Use tougher, less expensive cuts of beef like chuck, brisket, rump roast, and round. When it comes to poultry and pork, use bone-in chicken pieces, a blade roast, thick pork chops or “country style” ribs. Any cubed up stew meat is also a great candidate for braising. The process makes these otherwise tough cuts taste like a million bucks and cut like butter.  
  • Sturdy leafy vegetables like cabbage and collards, and hard vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, and beets become soft, silky, and permeated with flavor.