Comfort Food

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

As the temperatures plunge and we get closer to the holiday season, I turn toward my favorite comfort foods. Which means bacon and potatoes are probably involved in some shape or form. This time, I included cabbage as well.

My last organic box contained lovely potatoes and a beautiful head of green cabbage from a farm in PA -- it was brightly colored and had a sweet, fresh flavor--and it was a manageable size (sometimes I get a cabbage and it is bigger than my own head).  So, I made a pot full of bacon and potatoes with apples and cabbage.  I was planning on making a roasted pork loin to go with it, but I didn't get around to it.  And, it didn't really matter. A big steamy bowl of this mixture was just enough.  It reminded me a bit of German Potato Salad (one of my favorite childhood dishes), but wasn't overly vinegary, and the addition of the coriander gave it a bit of elegance.  

I was sad when my bowl was was that good. And leftovers the next day?  Even better.

Potted Potatoes and Cabbage with Bacon and Apples
4 strips smoked bacon, diced (applewood smoked bacon is great for this recipe)
6-8 red skinned potatoes, cleaned and quartered (or halved if very small)
1 head, green or napa cabbage, sliced and chopped into small pieces
1 cup chicken stock (add more if mixture seems dry)
2 tart apples (Macintosh or Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and diced
3 TBS unsalted butter
1 Tsp coriander (you can grind these if you don't like the whole balls--but they soften during cooking, so I don't mess with them)
2 TBS apple cider vinegar (you can add more if you want to up the vinegar flavor)
Salt/pepper to taste
  • Put the bacon in a large covered pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook until slightly crisp.  Remove the bacon from the pot and drain on paper towels.
  • Add the potatoes into the pot and cook in the bacon drippings for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  • Add the bacon back into the pot with the potatoes and stir with a wooden spoon for a minute or two.
  • Add the cabbage and stock and cover the pot
  • Remove the lid, stir in the apples, butter, coriander and vinegar until combined.
  • Season with salt/pepper, re-cover and continue to simmer on low heat until the cabbage has wilted and your potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.