Ted walked into the kitchen just as I remarked to myself (out loud) about the beautiful symmetry of the head of cabbage I had just cut in half. Thankfully, he's used to my mutterings in an empty room but my cabbage love was a new one. If I remember correctly, I think he said something to the effect of, 'I've never heard anyone call cabbage beautiful'. Well, it is beautiful and tastes amazing after an hour with some fruit, apple cider and vinegar. It accompanied my very first venison stew (recipe here) and let me tell you, it was a winner.
Braised Cabbage with Quince, Apple & Cranberries
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 heads of red cabbage, sliced into 1/2 ribbons and rough chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple essence (recipe here)
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups whole fresh cranberries
1 tart apple, peeled and rough chopped
1 quince, peeled and rough chopped (if you can't find quince, substitute a tart apple)
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat, add the butter and onion and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Uncover and, stirring occasionally, cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage and salt and cook until the cabbage is wilted, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add the maple syrup, apple cider, apple essence and cider vinegar to the dutch oven and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for 20 minutes. Add the chopped apple, quince and cranberries and stir to combine. Cover the dutch oven and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is softened. Serve immediately.