Thursday, March 10, 2011

Braised Cabbage with Pancetta

Didn't I say we were going vegetarian for Lent? Well, we are. I'm just behind on my posting because I acquired one of these on Sunday:

Her name is Chloe, she is just over a year old, and she cries miserably when you leave her sight. That means that I've been working off my laptop because I feel too guilty to go upstairs to my office. And my camera software is not on my laptop. So I only just uploaded the pictures from the recipe we made on Monday: braised cabbage with pancetta. 

This another great recipe from my Jamie Oliver cookbook. It's fast, simple and flavorful. I've done it twice already and the one thing I need to get right is the shred on the cabbage. While you can use any kind of cabbage, I used half of a small head of green cabbage. The first time, I chopped it with a knife. I tend to chop cabbage poorly - I try to get it nice and thin, but tend to fall far short. So that time we had a nice chunky cabbage mixture. This time, I tried the food processor. 

The cabbage was chopped very evenly, but I felt like the pieces were too small. Ideally, I think I'd like something right in between. Next time, instead of using the shredding ring, I'll try one of the chopping blades and see how it goes.

I think the best part of this recipe was frying the pancetta with shallots and garlic. It filled the whole house with a delicious odor that lingered long after dinner was over. Well worth a try, if only for that!

Braised Cabbage with Pancetta
Adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution.

1 cabbage, finely sliced (the recipe suggests green, Savoy or spring - I used green, and I halved the recipe)
1-2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
6 thin slices pancetta, chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 1/4 c vegetable stock (I used homemade stock that I froze into ice cubes)
salt and pepper

Heat a large lidded saucepan over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the pancetta to the pan and stir for a few minutes until crisp. Add the shallot and saute for a minute, then add the garlic (at this point, pause and enjoy the aroma).

When the garlic begins to get some color, add the Worcestershire, butter and cabbage. Stir well to combine, then turn heat to high.

Add the stock (since I used my own frozen cubes, I eyeballed the measurement - in retrospect, I think I used a bit too much, because the mixture ended up a bit soupy. A few more minutes on the stove mostly solved that, though). Put a lid on it and cook for 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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