Don’t overlook the humble cabbage! It’s a natural flavor absorber that chefs know pairs well with punchy, intense ingredients like bacon, or ferment it for kimchi, but we also think it can stand up and shine all on its own. This straight cabbage braise (without meat!) is the perfect way to experience cabbage in all its vegetal glory.
This dish gets its deep umami profile from browned mushrooms, a slight sweetness from shallots and carrots, and an herby, anisey kick from thyme and caraway. To mimic the texture you might get from a cooked bacon, we whipped up a quick batch of garlic-scented croutons.Douse it all in a rich braising liquid made of beer and veggie stock, and you have a hearty veggie-forward dish that’s great for any cold-weather weeknight. Pro tip! If you want this to be a fully vegan meal, sub the butter for additional olive oil and you’re all set.
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!
extra-virgin olive oil
medium cabbage, cut into 8 wedges with core intact
shallots, thinly sliced
large carrot, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
sprigs thyme, stems removed
beer, such as a pilsner or lager
apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
sliced white beard, crusts removed, cut into ½” cubes
extra-virgin olive oil
- Make the Cabbage and Braising Liquid: In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until it starts to shimmer. Working in batches if necessary, add cabbage wedges in one even layer and cook, turning once, until thoroughly browned on each side, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Wipe out the pot, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to become golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in shallots and carrots, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes more.
- Add garlic, caraway seeds, and thyme, and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add Dijon and cook for about 1 minute more. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, mix thoroughly, and cook until the smell of raw flour dissipates, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in the beer, vegetable stock, and apple cider vinegar, making sure to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, allowing the liquid to cook down until reduced by about one-third, about 8 minutes.
- Season the braising liquid to taste with salt and pepper, then add the cabbage back to the pot. Cover and cook, flipping the cabbage once halfway through, for about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, Make the Croutons: Adjust oven rack to center position, and preheat oven to 350ºF. On a baking sheet, toss
cubed white bread, oil, garlic powder and salt. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- To serve, add cabbage to a bowl and top with braising mixture and a few croutons.