Smoky bacon, the sweet-sour play of brown sugar and red wine vinegar give this dish a nice balance of flavor.
Make Ahead: The cabbage is best made just before serving so that a slight crispness is still present, but the dish can be prepared 1 to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.
- 1 small (2 pounds) head red cabbage, tough outer leaves discarded, then cut into quarters and cored
- 6 ounces apple wood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into very thin strips (julienne; 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large (12 ounces) onion, halved, then cut into julienne
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or more to taste
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar, or more to taste
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Cut the quarters of cabbage into thin slices (julienne), turning the quarters as you work in order to have the widest possible base for safe cutting.
Place the bacon pieces in a saute pan large enough to also hold the cabbage and onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp.
Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is translucent.
Add all of the cabbage, which will be piled above the rim of the pan at first. Cook for 5 minutes, using tongs to turn over and combine the onions and cabbage. The cabbage will wilt slightly and turn a less vivid shade of purple.
Add the vinegar and then the sugar, stirring to combine. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes; the cabbage will darken in color slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then adjust the level of sweetness or acidity as needed. Serve hot.
From chef Ris Lacoste.
Tested by Ris Lacoste.
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