Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Braised Cabbage with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

If you don't like cabbage, you might as well leave now. This is all about cabbage.

My mother made a version of this dish when I was a kid, and she called it Polish Cabbage. Which was a little odd. She made other Polish dishes, but she called them by their Polish names. But this one was Polish Cabbage. I suspect it was her version of Bigos, but maybe she changed the name because she knew it was pretty far from the original

Meanwhile. I've adapted it even more in this recipe, with the addition of mushrooms. It's not a far-fetched addition. A lot of Polish recipes use mushrooms.

My mother's recipe usually had a small amount of pork in it, but lately I've been making it meatless. I think it's just as good.

Braised Cabbage with Mushrooms and Tomatoes

2 tablespoons oil for cooking
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
8 roma tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped
1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 small head of cabbage
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes begin to break up. Add the mushrooms, stir to combine, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chop the cabbage roughly - thicker than for cole slaw. Add the cabbage to the pot, stir to combine. Add the wine vinegar, tomato paste, and salt and pepper.

Cook on medium-low, stirring often, adding water as needed so the bottom doesn't dry out. You don't want it to be soupy, you just need enough water so it will braise. Cook the cabbage until it softens and starts turning red from absorbing the tomato. This can take an hour or more. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more tomato, salt, pepper, or vinegar as desired.