A delicious braised cabbage recipe made with smoky bacon, onions, carrots, and tomatoes. Braised low and slow it tastes as if it was cooked in a brick oven.
Preheat oven to 350F, with the rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Render bacon: In a large (6 qt - 8 qt) pot or dutch oven, render about 4-5 pieces of chopped up bacon over a low-medium heat stirring frequently until the fat is well rendered and the pieces are crispy (~ 10 minutes).
The vegetables will be added in sequence, so you can chop them while the other ones are cooking.
Onions: dice the onions and add them to the bacon, and rendered fat. Continue cooking, stirring often until the onions are golden in color and translucent, ~ 10 minutes.
Shred the carrots and either chop or puree the tomatoes.
Add the carrots and tomatoes to the bacon & onions and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to evaporate the extra moisture, ~ 5 - 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop the cabbage: cut the cabbage into 4 wedges. Place the wedges flat side down, cut out the cores and discard.
Now, cut each cabbage wedge into 1-inch strips and then into 1-inch squares.
Cook on stovetop for 15 - 30 minutes:
Add the chopped cabbage, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black ground pepper, 1 tsp of granulated garlic, 1 bay leaf , and stir with a wooden spoon combining the vegetables and bacon with the cabbage well. Cover with lid and continue cooking until the cabbage has shrunk down and has reduced by about 1/3, mixing it several times throughout, ~ 15 - 30 minutes (Note 2). Add 1/2 cup of water (or stock) if the cabbage starts to stick to the bottom of the pot.
TIP: if you do not have a big enough pot to fit all the cabbage at once, no worries, add it gradually. Fill up the pot with the cabbage, cover with a lid and allow it to cook down until you can fit more, stir and allow it to cook down once again and so on until all cabbage is added.
The braised cabbage will shrink down to only 1/3 of the initial amount when completely cooked.
Braise in the oven: Transfer to the preheated oven, with the lid partially open to allow extra moisture to evaporate.
Continue cooking at 350F for another hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the cabbage is a nice golden color, reduced to about 1/3 of the original amount and most of the moisture has evaporated from the bottom. Taste and adjust for salt, if needed.
To serve: Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of toasted bread.
To store: allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate covered up to 3 days.
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