Smothered Cabbage is first-rate comfort food and often overlooked. Smother it slowly in its own juices, flavored with creole seasoning and a few herbs and spices and some delicious pork fat. The cooking process adds fantastic color and depth of flavor. The natural sweetness is drawn out and renders a warming and satisfying creole treat. It's too good for just New Years Day!
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: smothered cabbage
Author: Sweet Daddy D
Here's What You Need
3slices smoked bacon Substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons bacon grease
Sprinkle the pork chops with kosher salt and pepper and creole seasoning and set aside; chop bacon into 1-inch pieces.
Remove the outer leaves and cut out the cabbage in half and remove the hard stem. Slice cabbage in half again then slice each half across in 4 to 6 pieces.
Slice onion into thick rings and then cut the rings in half; rough chop the garlic
Measure out all other ingredients
To cook the cabbage
Fry the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. (Or melt bacon grease)
Brown the pork chops on both sides in the bacon grease. When browned, remove the pork chops and bacon from the pan and set aside.
Add the onions and sauté until starting to soften and brown on the edges, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock to lift all the fond off the bottom and mix well into the onions. This is an important step that adds a lot of flavor and color to the process.
Add in the cabbage a handful at a time. Stir well and allow it to cook down a little before you add more. It may take about 10 minutes to cook down to get all the cabbage in the dutch oven.
Add the herbs and spices, sugar and the bay leaves and stir well.
Add back the pork chops and bacon. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Check in about 10 minutes and stir. The cabbage should be giving off liquid, but if not, add a little chicken stock (but, only if needed).
Cover the pot and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the cover, increase the heat and continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow some browning and to cook-off some of the excess liquid.
Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and allow the cabbage to cool somewhat. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Pull the pork chop meat off the bones, shred or break into smaller pieces and return to the pot. Remove the bay leaves, mix well and serve.
If pork chops are not available, other cuts of pork can be used as the seasoning meat like smoked ham hocks. Try to use something with a little fat.