Author Notes: This is what I came up with when trying to class up cabbage to bring to a “Friendsgiving” dinner a few years ago. It’s very similar, I think, to English braised cabbage, but with coriander seeds. It makes a nice vitamin-rich addition to all the starches that feature so prominently at Thanksgiving, a hearty side to pork chops, or, with rice or potatoes, a simple and comforting meal when you’re feeling a little under the weather. The amounts are eminently adjustable. (Incidentally, this is the dish I had in hand when I first learned about food52–I brought it to family Thanksgiving last year, whither a cousin and friend of Merrill’s brought the challah stuffing that won last year’s Thanksgiving contest!) —ody
Serves: 8-10 as a side
tablespoons olive oil
3/4 to 1
cups chopped onion
cloves garlic, peeled and chopped into large pieces
apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (grannysmith or macintosh both work well, but most any variety will do)
tablespoon dried thyme (sub with 1.5 Tb fresh if you have it)
tablespoon whole coriander seeds
small head of cabbage (2-3 lbs), shredded. (Red cabbage makes for great but uniform color; green cabbage lets picky eaters see all the ingredients.)
- Choose a large-bottomed pan with a close-fitting lid. (I love to use a braiser, but a 3- or 4-quart saucepan does great, too.) On medium heat, add the oil and butter and wait until the butter has melted and frothed a little.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add the apples, garlic, thyme, and coriander and cook until the apples are softened and beginning to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage in handfuls, stirring quickly but thoroughly after each handful. (If you can’t fit all the cabbage in at this stage, don’t worry, it’ll cook down quickly; just fill the pan 3/4 of the way and stir frequently.) Stir in salt and put on the lid. Check after a couple of minutes to make sure the cabbage is releasing its water and nothing’s burning on the bottom of the pan. Add a few teaspoons of water if needed. (Try not to add too much or you’ll end up with soupy cabbage—so long as the bottom the pan is moist you should be fine.)
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and adding the rest of the cabbage as you acquire the space for it. Once you have 1/4 inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan, turn up the heat to medium-high. Keep cooking until the cabbage is tender, about 20-30 minutes.
- Add a few turns of black pepper to taste.