Cabbage and I have a love/hate relationship. I often can’t pass one by in the grocery store, it just looks so tight and green and waiting for a good casserole, soup or salad. I buy it and then it sits in my second vegetable drawer and mopes for awhile. I know the cabbage is there but I can’t decide just what dish to use it in. I have to be in the mood for cabbage.
This week I wanted bacon with my cabbage. I imagined it fried together then baked in a casserole with other ingredients. And I found just the recipe! It included potatoes and cheese, what’s not to look forward to there? It was called a Polish dish and it’s always fun to try dishes from other cultures!
I diced the bacon and got that frying up in a large nonstick skillet. The bacon was dwarfed by the skillet but the next round needed the bacon grease and a bit more room to roll around in it..
Bacon browned and crispy and set aside in a bowl, I sliced up a large onion and the cabbage. I put it into the skillet and let it fry and soak up all of the lovely bacon flavored grease. Did I say this was a low calorie dish? Of course not! I added salt and pepper to the cabbage and stirred it occasionally. It shrunk a bit and wasn’t falling out of the pan any more.
While the cabbage and onions wilted and browned slightly, I peeled and cut up some russet potatoes. I put them into a kettle of salted water and boiled them until they were firm fork tender. I stirred the apple cider vinegar into the cabbage mixture to deglaze the pan. I drained the potatoes and added them to cabbage and potatoes. I stirred in the bacon as well.
The half and half and bread crumbs were added to the skillet next, along with a large pinch of garlic powder that I thought would amp up the seasonings.
I stirred well and poured the mixture into a sprayed 9×13-in baking dish. I covered it with foil and put the dish into the oven, setting the timer for 20 minutes.
At 20 minutes I uncovered the casserole and let it bake another 20 minutes to golden brown. It smelled and looked heavenly. I was so hungry!
I loved the cabbage casserole! Loving cabbage, particularly cabbage that has been sautéed in bacon grease is not a problem. Adding the potatoes and cheese and bread crumbs was a great idea.
I could curl up with a bowl of this any night! I considered it a complete meal. Even my P.S. was happy with the dish for dinner. He thought maybe next time we should use ham instead of bacon but the bacon grease on the cabbage is what makes the dish so luscious.
Polish Cabbage, Potato and Bacon Casserole
3 medium russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices (about 4 ounces) thick-cut bacon, diced
1 small but heavy head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), quartered, cored, and sliced into ribbons
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup grated mild white cheese, such as edam or gouda
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Boil potatoes in a medium pot, adding 1 teaspoon and just cover with water. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium, cooking until potatoes are firm fork tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, add bacon and cook over medium high heat until crispy and browned. Remove bacon and reserve grease.
Over medium-high heat, and add cabbage, onions, a teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of black pepper and stir occasionally. Cook until well wilted and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.
Add apple cider vinegar and deglaze pan scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom.
Add potatoes to cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Add reserved bacon, parsley, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and breadcrumbs and stir well again.
Pour mixture into a sprayed casserole dish evenly. Top casserole with a layer of grated cheese and cover pan with foil.
Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake another 20 minutes until casserole is bubbling and cheese has browned
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Serious Eats