So, I bought a beautiful head of cabbage because I had every intention of showing ya’ll how to make Mark’s mom’s stuffed cabbage rolls. Which are SO delicious! That said, I just didn’t get around to it – because, you know, Christmas, graduation, a trip out of town, life. It happens. Then, the kids were all coming over tonight and I didn’t know quite what to fix besides hamburgers, but I had this head of cabbage staring me in the face. I didn’t have time to put cabbage rolls together but I did have the 10 minutes required to fix some Southern Cooked Cabbage like a good Southern Gal should. Plus, I knew that southern cooked cabbage would help fill the bellies of my son and my son in law (future)- HELLO beautiful head of cabbage!
Guess I’ll have to buy another beautiful cabbage head on my next grocery trip to show you how to make stuffed cabbage rolls because on this post, I am only going to show you how to cook up some southern cooked cabbage like the deep south, southern drawl, “come on to dinner now ya’ll” kind of Ohio girl that I am! lol. OK – I did grow up in Ohio, but my parents are both from North Carolina and I grew up eating their cooking, so that counts, right? (I promise though, as a kid I wouldn’t have touched cooked cabbage with a 20 foot pole – I had no idea what was good back then).
Here is the part where we are going to let the fast lane recipe hunters go first. Thank you for coming recipe hunters – enjoy your southern cooked cabbage. If you want to talk cabbage and potatoes, visit with me after the recipe and I’ll tell you “the rest of the story” including any recipe tips I might have for southern cooked cabbage or background info or history – or who knows???
THE RECIPE FOR SOUTHERN COOKED CABBAGE
- 2 tbs butter
- 4 strips of bacon OR see tip after the recipe
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 head of cabbage
- 3 fist sized white potatoes
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp Tony Cacheres (season-all salt if Tony Chachere's is not available)
- 1 tsp pepper
- splash of Apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- melt butter over medium heat on the stove top in a frying pan. Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry in the butter. While bacon is frying, give the onion a rough chop and add to the frying pan. Mince the garlic. Just as the onion is becoming translucent (2-3 minutes), add the garlic and cook until fragrant (smells up the kitchen).
- Add all of the ingredients (including the melted butter and bacon grease) to a large sauce pot (6 quart or so). Cut up the cabbage as follows: Cut into quarters and then cut into strips that are about 1-2 inches wide (after removing the hard center core) and place into the large sauce pot. Cover the the cabbage with chicken stock - but if not enough stock, add water to cover. Peel three fist sized potatoes and cut into 1-2 inch squares. Add to the stock pot. Add the salt, Tony chachere's (seaon-all) and pepper. Add the apple cider vinegar and baking soda as well.
- Cook over medium high heat on the stove top by simmering for 10-12 minutes or just until the cabbage is done (try it to know for sure). You may need to add more salt and/or pepper depending on taste.
RECIPE TIPS FOR SOUTHERN COOKED CABBAGE
- There is no point in using your good bacon on this recipe, if you can find the “bits and pieces” of bacon (very inexpensive) available at your store, keep some in your fridge/freezer for these kinds of recipes. Perfect inexpensive solution. ( I bought mine at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen them at my local grocery too).
- Southern Cooked Cabbage has a smell (it isn’t really a nice smell) when it is cooking. If you can cook it outside, that is ideal. I have a burner on the end of my grill. I also have a separate burner that I do canning on. Camp stove anyone? That way the smell stays out of the house. Today, I cooked the cabbage on my canning burner.
- You know to discard the first couple of outer leaves on cabbage, right? Thought so.
- Cabbage has the bad reputation of giving people gas. Here are the ways that I have heard that you can address the gas issue (I have no idea if they are accurate or if they work individually – you can see from the recipe what I did): Add potatoes to your cabbage and cook with the potatoes – the potatoes will absorb the gas making properties of the cabbage, add vinegar to the cabbage while it cooks, add baking soda to the cabbage while it cooks, only simmer the cabbage do not hard boil it. I do all of these things to my southern cooked cabbage and I haven’t noticed that the gas is terrible. I don’t know which one works or if it is the combination.
- This southern cooked cabbage – while excellent right away becomes even better if you can allow it to sit in the fridge over night. All the flavors meld and OH MY GOODNESS! It is good!
- Don’t get all freaked out and worried about the bacon grease and butter in this recipe, it stays melted and in the liquids. You won’t actually be eating much of it – its just for flavor.
RECIPE INSPIRATION FOR SOUTHERN COOKED CABBAGE
I’m not sure there is a recipe inspiration for southern cooked cabbage. A long many years ago, I was a vegetarian and starting to stay very hungry all the time because, guess what? I didn’t like vegetables much and how many days in a row can you only eat salad? For me, it was about 6 months. Of course, I had never really tried very many vegetables. So, it served me right to be hungry!
My first husband and I were visiting a friend’s mother’s house and helping with some heavy lifting and moving work (many many years ago – something like 30 years ago). It was time to eat and the Mama (who was then about my age now) said, “well, I don’t know what to feed you folks, but I have some cabbage and potatoes from the garden”. I helped her in the kitchen and she showed me exactly how she cooked cabbage. I had never eaten southern cooked cabbage. Didn’t think I would like southern cooked cabbage. However, I was HUNGRY and we were WAY out in the country in Tennessee and there wasn’t a grocery, fast food or convenience store anywhere around. I was going to learn to eat cabbage. Period. This is basically the recipe she taught me that day that you see here, except I add the garlic, Tony Chacere’s (season all), vinegar and baking soda.
Just so you’ll know, I started eating that southern cooked cabbage that day and I thought it was about the best thing I ever tried. I don’t even know how many helpings I ate.
And another nice thing about cabbage? Its CHEAP! You can feed a crowd for almost nothing!
Thank you for visiting me. I hope you will come back in the coming days/weeks. I’m going to share with you more great recipes that include: Southern Tomato Gravy, Old Fashion Sugar Cream Pie, Pimento Cheese Grits, Deep South Cabbage Rolls and perhaps some savory pancakes!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ~ Isaiah 9:6