When a holiday rolls around, we’re all about celebrating it. With food. Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s and St. Patty’s Day. They all have a special meal attached to the occasion and sometimes we’ll even invite some friends over as well.
We might stay true to holiday traditions and, then again, we might change things up a little. Depends on our mood, the moon, stars and various other elements that determine how we are going to enjoy that special day.
It was a month before St. Patty’s Day when David started taking about corned beef. So when the Irish holiday finally rolled around, I knew corned beef was on the menu. This has been a part of David’s rituals as long as I can remember. Corned beef is his “thing”–remember, he is from New York where you will find the best corned beef sandwich. While corned beef is not my “thing,” the sides are what I’m all about. Cabbage is an obligatory staple with corned beef. And potatoes are also a required element of the annual Irish celebration.
This year, we decided to contemporize our menu a bit. Rather than the staid sauerkraut or buttered cabbage, we opted for a red wine braised red cabbage dish–giving my own German heritage a little love as well on this fine day. And no matter how good boiled potatoes are with butter and parsley, we agreed on potato pancakes for this year’s St. Patty’s Day meal. Again, with a nod to my German heritage.
As we celebrate the Irish (and the German) this year, we also do this with a nice cold beer. The Germans in my lineage would be so proud.
Red Wine Braised Red Cabbage
- 1 slice of thick-cut nitrate-free, uncured bacon, chopped, optional
- 2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
- 2 1/2 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion chopped
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey or more to taste
- Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon. If there is a lot of fat in the pan, sop it up with a paper towel. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the cabbage, apple and onion and the cooked bacon. Saute until cabbage is crisp tender, about 6-10 minutes.
Add the wine and vinegar and cover, cooking until cabbage is tender and the liquid mostly evaporates, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the honey and cook another few minutes so everything melds together.
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt, pepper and even a bit more honey, if desired. Serve and enjoy.