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White Wine-Braised Red Cabbage and Bacon

Red onion, red cabbage, bacon and apple translate into a subtle interplay of savory, sweet and sour flavors in this elegant cabbage dish.

• 1 1/2 pounds red cabbage
1/4 pound Black Forest or quality bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 cup white wine
• 1 Cortland or other sweet, crisp apple, peeled and grated
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• Kosher salt and pepper

Trim cabbage and remove the outer leaves. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise and remove the white core. Halve lengthwise once more, thinly slicing each cabbage wedge.

Place bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat and render fat. When bacon turns crispy brown (approximately 10 to 15 minutes), remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet, discarding any excess.

Heat skillet over medium flame, and add onion, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add the shredded cabbage, bay leaf, sherry vinegar and white wine, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, or until cabbage has wilted slightly. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Then stir in the apple and bacon, combining well. Simmer, covered, another 5 minutes; add the ground flaxseed the last minute of cooking. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper.

Let stand a few minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Note: For a strictly vegetarian variation of this dish, substitute 2 tablespoons of olive oil for the bacon and follow recipe as given.

Thursday, May 16, 2002

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