I might, if pressed, admit that the duck fat was overkill. Not the bacon, though.
This was cooked as a side dish to last week’s spicy cherry duck, and provided the sweetness to counterbalance the heat that wound up in that sauce.
Some of my diners actually said they thought the cabbage had more of a kick to it than the duck did, which I don’t understand at all. The mustard does give it a bit of a kick, and you can ramp that up or down as you see fit.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am partial to Brown’s Farmstand Cider, which is available through the winter at the farmer’s market. Brown’s has ruined supermarket cider for me, and will for you, too, but I can still make do with Champlain Orchards* in an emergency.
- One-half head of red cabbage, halved again, cored and cut into strips.
- Apple cider (You probably won’t need more than two cups, at most, but buy a half-gallon and drink the rest. Or follow those links up there and make some of those other recipes.)
- A small handful of bacon ends, roughly chopped (You don’t buy bacon ends? Two thick strips should do the trick.)
- One red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- A spoonful of duck fat
- Dry mustard (I’m a Coleman’s man.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Drop the duck fat and the bacon in the bottom of a pot on a medium-high stove. When the duck fat has melted and the bacon just barely started to color, add the onions and season with salt and pepper.
Once the onions soften, add a spoonful of the dry mustard and then the cabbage, stirring to combine with the onions and coat with the fat. When the cabbage just barely begins to wilt, pour in enough cider to come maybe a third up of the way up the cabbage.
Bring to a boil, drop the heat to low and cover. Cook for an hour, uncovering to stir occasionally. Add more cider if the liquid starts to get too low.
Before serving, raise the heat and cook, stirring, until the liquid is almost gone. Remove from heat and serve.
*It has been brought to my attention that this passage reads like I'm calling Champlain Orchards supermarket cider. It is not -- it just isn't quite as good as Brown's.