Friday, April 15, 2022

Smothered Cabbage with Salt Pork

Cabbage, tossed with salt pork and onion and smothered down with a little chicken broth. Simply seasoned, satisfying, comfort food.

Smothered Cabbage with Salt Pork

I love cabbage. Any way really, but most often when I pick up a head of cabbage thinking I might prepare something new for the website, most of the time I go with the simple fried cabbage I love so much.

It's actually pretty close to this version, though bacon based, and for some folks, as much as a full pound of it!

After the bacon is rendered, the pan is deglazed of the browned bits and the cabbage added giving it a more caramelized coloring in the end product.

Some folks take it even further and literally fry it down to a much deeper browning, but I find doing that gets a bit bitter for my taste. 

With this version of cabbage, I was trying to get to one that tasted something like the one made at a local fried chicken buffet. I've talked about their buffet before and how much I love all their food and especially the sides, including this cabbage. Though it's more similar to the way I make my braised cabbage, there was something that stood out different about it.

It's always kind of fun trying to deconstruct something you find somewhere else that you love, but it can be particularly challenging when it's really something very simple, especially for someone like me who loves experiments with all kinds of herbs and spices!

Here's what I ascertained about this one.

Their version was simple and lacked the distinction of smoked bacon, though it was still tasty. It was more, well, pure and to me, that seemed to mean salt pork.

It also wasn't heavily seasoned - maybe a little salt and pepper but nothing more than that stood out.

One thing I could not tell was whether or not they included any onion, but I almost could not help myself but to put a little in my version.

Because they make massive amounts of this on a regular basis, I'm pretty certain they use water.

Though one distinct flavor I did pick up on was butter. Beautiful, pure butter, enough that it could be noticed, but not so much as to be overwhelming.
With those possibilities in mind, I think I got pretty close!

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below. 

Here's how to make this simple smothered cabbage with salt pork. 

Cut the salt pork up into some chunks.

Heat oil in a tall pot over medium high heat. Add salt pork and render in the hot oil.

Add onions to drippings.

And cook until softened and lightly browned.

I chose to go with chicken broth over water for this recipe. Deglaze pan with chicken broth.

Bring up to a boil.

Add chopped cabbage.

Toss, cover and cook over medium low, stirring often, about 40 minutes or until cabbage is wilted down and reaches desired texture. 

Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Unable to view the printable below on your device? Click here.


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