Braised Cabbage a la Top Chef, budget edition

It doesn’t sound very sexy, but I thought it was just delicious. I adapted this from a Top Chef recipe, in fact! I saw current contestant (kind of the villain of the show at the moment, but undeniably talented) Stefan make this and was intrigued by the concept. So I snagged Stefan’s original recipe from the Bravo site, did a little tinkering, omitting more expensive ingredients like rendered duck fat, and simplifying it a bit, and voila.

1/4 cup butter (or olive oil, if vegan)
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium red cabbage or half of one very large head, shredded
2 tart apples, diced
2 sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup red currant jelly
salt and pepper to taste

I shredded the cabbage in my Cuisinart – it was enough to fill the work bowl completely.

Melt butter or heat oil in a large, deep, heavy pan or dutch oven. Add onion and sweat for about 5 minutes, until softened and getting a little color. Add sugar, vinegar, red wine, and salt; bring to a boil.

Add cabbage and toss to coat. Once cabbage begins to soften, stir in apples, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and cloves. Lower heat to medium-low and let simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Stir in currant jelly. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

One thing to note: I found that this actually does NOT hold up very well overnight in the refrigerator. It’s not terrible, but it’s not as good as it was fresh and certainly doesn’t gain anything. I do recommend serving & eating it immediately.

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