Simple beer braised cabbage with bacon is pictured. The bacon is crisped up in a large, heavy pot, then some onions are quickly sauteed in a bit of the remaining fat. Then the cabbage is added, along with the beer of your choice, and in 30 minutes you have a dish that may be modest in cost and appearance, but quite grand in flavor. Photo by: AP Photo/Matthew Mead
March 16, 2016 10:29:06 AM
Cabbage is almost as popular on St. Patrick's Day as green beer! And that's because cabbage -- unlike green beer! -- is a quintessential part of Irish cuisine (along with bacon and potatoes).
Tenant farmers in the 17th century were forced to pay substantial rents to their landlords, so they relied heavily on crops of cabbage and potatoes to get them through the year. The more prosperous farmers also grew pigs, so they were able to season their vegetables with the pork parts that weren't needed elsewhere. When the potato famine hit, cabbage became an even more critical food source.
And so on St. Patrick's Day, it's customary to eat cabbage in some form. And fair enough. It remains one of the most affordable and durable vegetables around, a reliable source of something green in the colder months. And when paired with its old compatriot bacon, it's actually pretty delicious.
Here the bacon is crisped up in a large, heavy pot, then some onions are quickly sauteed in a bit of the remaining fat. Then the cabbage is added, along with the beer of your choice, and in 30 minutes you have a dish that may be modest in cost and appearance, but quite grand in flavor. This would go very well with corned beef, but also with roasted chicken, salmon, a steak, or pretty much anything.
SIMPLE BEER-BRAISED CABBAGE WITH BACON
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
6 strips bacon, halved crosswise
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 medium (about 2 pounds) green cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
12-ounce bottle or can beer (any variety)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Nutrition information per serving: 140 calories; 80 calories from fat (57 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 10 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 4 g protein.