Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Braising Season Opens - Braised Red Cabbage, Apples and Smoked Sausage

Forget Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. For me, the most lyrical of the seasons is the braising season.

Each year, I can’t wait to start using the Dutch oven. From the first hint of a chill in the air, until the summer temperature is absolutely unbearable, the fire engine red pot holds an honored place on top of my stove.

This year, the opening of braising season is marked with brilliant color and subtle hints of smoke, sweet and sour. I start with a basic braising recipe for cabbage from the book Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. Two Granny Smith apples (peeled and cored) and one large onion are sliced into one inch chunks and combined with 6 tablespoons of melted butter, ½ cup of sugar and 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of coarse salt. The mixture caramelizes for about 10 minutes.

Then, the last red cabbage from Restoration Farm is cut into wedges and added along with ¾ cup of apple cider vinegar and ¾ cup of water. I add two inch chunks of smoked sausage to the top, bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer on low for a mere 30 minutes. The apples melt into a sweet caramelized sauce of rich purple, and the cabbage is still crisp, but meltingly tender.

Like the scent of autumn leaves, the tangy aroma and the bright magenta color signal that indeed braising season has arrived. I welcome and relish the season of foods cooked low and slow.

©2009 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

11 comments:

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely combination of ingredients for your fall braise. I don't know what I would do without my Dutch oven either. However, I wouldn't mind listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons while this lovely meal cooked though.
Sam

doggybloggy said...

this is a classic and it looks so appetizing on the plate - gimme a beer and a plateful!

Julia said...

mmm braised cabbage! This looks wonderful. The first photo makes me giggle, it looks like the plate is smiling at me.

Stacey Snacks said...

TW,
I love braising too.....my Le Creuset Dutch Oven is worth its weight in gold!

Fresh Local and Best said...

The ingredients are beautiful, I love the bright color of the braised cabbage.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm not a huge fan of cooked cabbage in any form, but the color here is irresistible and makes me think that, perhaps, I should try again.

zenchef said...

I agree, this is the time of the year for delicious braised red cabbage and pork. I wish it was a few degrees cooler though but we're getting there. Classic flavor combination. I love it!

Helene said...

This is such a great combination. Delicious meal.

Lori Lynn said...

YAY for braising!
This dish sounds and looks delicious.
LL

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I am embarrassed to admit that I still don't a Dutch oven. I know. I know. What kind of food blogger am I? This recipe is enough to make me go buy one, though!

Jann said...

Oh, this is a beautiful pairing!I can smell it all the way from NY!! This looks delicious and hearty!