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Braised cabbage with bratwurst

The newsletter is running late today, so let’s make this week’s post a simple and hearty recipe – cabbage braised in beer with bratwurst.  As luck would have it, we have plenty of cabbages to go around.

Slice one large yellow onion into half-moons, satuee in about 3T of olive oil (or bacon grease, if you have some lying around) in a large pot.  Core and slice one medium (or half of one large) cabbage into 1-inch strips.  After onions have browned slightly, add cabbage to the onions and salt generously.  Cook cabbage over medium heat, periodically tossing to coat with oil.  When all cabbage is limp, add one bottle of good beer (I used Brooklyn lager, but I think any decent lager would do the trick), 1T spicy mustard, and one finely-chopped bunch of parsley.  Continue cooking on medium heat until the alcohol is cooked out of the lager.  Turn heat to low, and then nestle 4 bratwurst into the cabbage.  Cover and cook on low heat until cabbage in as tender as you like it and the brats are fully cooked.

Serve with roasted potatoes, a slice of toasted crusty bread, and a dollop of sour cream.  Enjoy!!

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February homegrown dinner

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Made dinner last weekend, looked at the plate, and realized that everything was home-grown. Even at the end of February.  Skillet pork chops, oven-steamed balsamic beets, mashed celeriac and carrots, sauerkraut.  For the beets, I used one very large Cylindra beet that yielded dinner for two with plenty of leftovers for a cold beet salad.  Seems to me that the Cylindra beets take a bit longer to soften up, and are even good with just a bit of crunch left to them.  Great flavor.  If crazy big long beets aren’t your thing, the Detroit Dark Red round beets will do just as well.

Nothing fancy, not more than two or three ingredients per dish.  But so good.  And it’s taken me longer to write this than to actually do all the cooking.

Do the beets first, then the chops so you can just turn down the heat in the oven when the beets finish.

Oven-steamed Balsamic Beets:  Heat oven to 450F.  Peel and chop beets.  Place beets into some kind of baking dish that can be covered.  Add salt, pepper, a few tablespoons of olive oil,  and a lot of balsamic vinegar.  Add enough vinegar to get to the point where you think to yourself, “Man, I think that’s too much vinegar.”  Cover the beets and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.  Stir them around a couple of times during baking.

Mashed Celeriac and Carrots:  Peel and chop 1 medium celeriac and 3 large carrots, so that you have about equal amounts of each.  Bring a pot of slated water to a boil, add chopped roots, cook until tender.  Pour out the water and then mash roots with a couple tablespoons of butter (or a few, but several might be overdoing it), and enough milk (or cream, or half and half) to get the consostency you want.

Perfect Pork Chops: Heat oven to 350F. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of a couple of chops. Really, don’t be shy with the salt. In a hot skillet, sear one side of the chops for 1 minute. Flip them over, and sear the other side for another minute. Put about a teaspoon of coconut oil on top of each and finish them in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, move to plate or platter, and let them rest for 5 minutes.