My last CSA box of the fall season include a green cabbage. It has been sitting in my fridge for a couple weeks while I thought about what I wanted to do with it. My biggest problem with cabbage is that as soon as you cut it starts to turn black from oxidation. This means you have to do something with it pretty quick. Typically we can’t use an entire cabbage. It makes way too much coleslaw or if I’m doing boiled dinner that also equals lots of leftovers.
When I was at the grocery store Saturday I had a flash of inspiration when I saw the ham hocks by the black eyed peas. What if I cooked down the shredded cabbage with ham hock? So yesterday morning I was shredding cabbage at 6:30am so it could cook while I worked on code. My lunch time I had a delicious smelling pot of goodness which took a whole head of cabbage and reduced it to manageable servings for 4 people. Yay! Unfortunately, all I had was cabbage. No main dish. I’d taken some smoked Chappell Hill Sausage out to have with the cabbage and digging around in the fridge found some lovely small red potatoes from early in the fall CSA. So I simmered the sausage and cut up potatoes then added it all to the cabbage to reheat just prior to serving.
Boy was the final product good. So good that in my haste to serve and get el nino (aka my toddler son) his plate ready I forgot to take a picture. Oh well, everyone said I’d just have to make it again.
If I were to do it again, I’d cook the brown the hocks in a pan. Remove, add the sausage and potatoes to cook. Remove those then add back in the hocks, cabbage and just enough liquid from the potatoes and sausage to cook the cabbage down. I’d then add the sausage and potatoes back at the last minute to re-warm. The hardest thing with with a dish like this is admitting that different things really do take different times to cook and you don’t want to burn the cabbage or have mushy potatoes by forcing it to cook down in a single pot at the exact same time.