You can teach an old dog new tricks.
I’m not sure about teaching an old DOG a new trick but I certainly can learn to do things a new way. I’m almost embarrassed that I have never cooked cabbage this way. I’m sure everyone will be making (or made) some type of cabbage dish for New Years day. We always have pork belly (fried, or hog jowl), black eyed peas and some kind of cabbage. The green cabbage is for “money” in the new year and good luck.
There are so many ways to eat cabbage, ie. in slaws/coleslaws, mixed in with salads (red and green), cabbage rolls, my egg rolls have cabbage, potatoes colcannon, add it to soups, corn beef and cabbage and of course just a big pot of cooked cabbage.
I’ve always cooked cabbage like my mother and grandmother did; quarter it up, put it in a pot with some water and bacon and boil it to death. Back in the Fall we had dinner at a friend’s house and my friend, Linda, cooked the best cabbage ever. I found out that she never cooks it in water but simply sautés it for 30-40 minutes in a skillet with some onion and then adds in some fried bacon at the end. It was delicious and I could have eaten the whole dish by myself but I had to share.
So, one Sunday night I decided I was going to do a whole head of cabbage and eat it all week long. Instead of bacon, I decided to add some of this Alabama sausage that we buy, brown it first, then add it in at the end. I did flavor the cabbage and onion with some bacon fat that I had left over from making my bacon and eggs post and added a little crushed red pepper even though the sausage was “spicy”.
Sometimes I tend to make things exactly like my mother did because I liked her recipes so much and I feel bad about altering her way of doing things, but this is one change I will make and not ever go back to cooking cabbage in water.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: These Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potatoes is just another way of cooking sweet potatoes other than cooking with all that sugar and marshmallows and makes a great little appetizer.
I love this sausage from Alabama but you can use any type of sausage or substitute fried bacon.
This is my favorite sausage. I Googled it and found it at several stores in Texas and we bought some in Marshall, Tx on our last trip back from Missouri/Chicago.
Cut the sausages into about 1 1/2-2″ pieces and brown in skillet.
Cut the cabbage into about 1″ strips. (Next time I cook this dish, I’m going to cut into 1″ squares so that it sauces quick and retains a lot of the bright green colors.
Chop or thinly slice one large onion.
Saute the onion for a few minutes before adding in the cabbage. I like browning the cabbage a bit to give it color. You will probably have to add half the cabbage in and wait for it to wilt down a bit before adding in the remainder of the cabbage.
Add in the sausage or bacon. We had this as a main dish. If you add the bacon, I’d call it a side dish.
I served some black eyed peas (for good luck in the new year) and picked beets with my cabbage and sausage.
- 1 large head cabbage, cut in 1" strips.
- 1 large onion, chopped or cut into thin strips
- 1 lb. or more spicy sausage cut in 1 1/2" pieces
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- pepper to taste
- 1-2 Tbsp. bacon fat (or oil) optional
- Cut the cabbage and set aside. Also, cut the onions either in small wedges or strips.
- Brown the sausage in a skillet and remove from skillet. Save the rendered fat and put in the onions and stir for 4-5 minutes then add the cabbage. I like to brown the cabbage somewhat. You may have to add the cabbage a little at a time until it wilts down. I used a huge 13" skillet and I still had to add it a little at a time. Add in the salt and pepper to taste and the sausage. Serve immediately or put in warm oven.
- If you need more fat in the skillet to brown the onions and cabbage add in some bacon fat or oil.
- I'm thinking that the next time I made this I will cut the cabbage in 1" pieces and stir-fry it really quick and then add the sausage; that way it will retain more of the green color.