Cabbage Braised w. Bacon, Apple and Balsamic

1 Apr

This picture is not gorgeous- but believe me, the dish is.  I mean, bacon, apple and balsamic- what a delightful combination.  I used to have a crush on Jamie Oliver, back when he was just the Naked Chef.  Before he named his kids– no joke– Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisey Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver.  Seriously, not joking.   He also has like a million tv shows– which have gotten a bit ridiculous.  He is like– oh here i am, in my backyard with my $20,000 wood oven- la-di-da. Or like, I saw him literally prepare a whole dinner w. his pocket knife– like why? what are you trying to prove?  just use an actual knife.  But the best take on Jamie Oliver is the South Park episode in which they spoof all the food network stars- thanks Jenna for sharing that one.  Youtube/hulu/whatever it.  I feel like Jamie’s recipes don’t always work out the way they are supposed- because he can be pretty willy nilly about measurements- so for the recipe I have translated Jamie speak.

olive oil
250g smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced [this would be about half a pound of bacon. I was on a healthy kick so only used like 4 slices]
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, bashed [put in a ziplock bag and hit w. a frying pan]
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 good eating apples, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
1 red cabbage, outer leaves and core removed, chopped into irregular chunks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml balsamic vinegar [5 fluid ounces or about 2/3 cup]
a knob of butter [pat of butter]
a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Pour a good lug [couple tablespoons] of olive oil into a saucepan, get it hot and add the bacon and fennel seeds. Cook until golden then add the onion and continue to cook, with the lid on, for a few more minutes until golden and sticky. Add the apple, followed by the cabbage chunks, salt and pepper and the vinegar, and stir everything together well. Put the lid back on and continue to cook on a low heat for an hour, checking and stirring every so often.  You will get- as Jamie says- a gorgeous sticky-sweet cabbage dish. Put in serving dish, top with butter and a sprinkle of parsley.

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