Red cabbage with sweet and tangy balsamic braised low and slow, then studded with goat cheese. Anthocyanin polyphenols never tasted so good.
A million years ago when I was a young hip single gal (well I guess not that hip if I refer to myself as ‘gal’) and had just moved to Dallas, I worked in a restaurant that had the highest standards of any restaurant I’ve worked in. Houston’s quality control over their food and processes is a wonder to behold. They also have a practice called ‘guest awareness’. That means if you’re working and a guest is coming toward you, you politely step aside for the guest. To this day I still roll my eyes when a waiter barges past me because if you have no standards in the front of the house, God only knows what’s going on in the back of the house. Especially in fine dining, that lack of training is inexcusable, but a lot of restaurants are a hot mess. Believe me because I’ve worked in more than a few.
It was because of that restaurant that I got more and more interested in side dishes. You can only do so much with a chicken entree but a veggie plate with couscous, braised red cabbage, grilled artichokes and rainbow Swiss chard? Now that can get interesting and it was never just couscous. It was couscous with almonds, currants, radishes, green onion, tomatoes, parsley, mint and a citrus olive oil dressing. It was never just red cabbage. It was braised red cabbage with goat cheese sprinkled on top.
Here is my rendition of their cabbage side, made slightly less sweet. Even the husband, who ‘hates cabbage’ liked this dish. After making him admit this several times I asked “And isn’t the goat cheese on top wonderful?”. He said “What goat cheese?”. Whoops, I guess I got it all. “Oh nothing.” nom nom nom.
Enjoy this recipe for Braised Cabbage with Goat Cheese with Triple Pork Shoulder Roast and Späetzle Sautéed with Shallots for my complete Oktoberfest Dinner. Of course, it’s best served with an Oktoberfest beer to stand up to all the hearty flavors and fall weather. Prost!
Braised Red Cabbage with Goat Cheese
- 1 10 oz bag shredded red cabbage about 1/3 a modest sized cabbage
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons good aged balsamic
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 ounces soft goat cheese aka chèvre
- Combine all ingredients except cheese and simmer over low heat in a covered pot for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally and checking to make sure there's still enough moisture. If it's dry, add another tablespoon or two of water.
- Alternatively roast in a covered container in a 35 degree oven for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally and checking to make sure there's still enough moisture. If it's dry, add another tablespoon or two of water.
- Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve.