A Note from Tara: You know I love me some good ol’ simple Southern food. Loriel, from Naturally Loriel, is sharing with us today a fantastic Southern boiled cabbage recipe, using one of my favorite cheap eats: the humble cabbage. Make sure you check out her blog for more easy recipes, lots of cute chicken stories, DIYs, and natural health and beauty. She also recently released a new clean handcrafted spice blend line, Naturally Free. I’ve tried them all, and buy them for my own home.
Greens and I have never really gotten along very well. I never grew up eating them and quite frankly, leafy greens like kale, turnip greens, and mustard greens really make me want to gag. It’s kinda funny that it works that way too since greens are typically cheaper to eat and are rich in vitamins and minerals.
It was only until I met my southern husband that I started to venture out into the leafy green world. I learned to love swiss chard when it was steamed and mixed with lots of butter and feta cheese, and thanks to bits of bacon and bacon grease, I can eat collards like I was the one that grew up in the south (but this moist maple cornbread is a necessity when making my collards).
Basically, I’ve learned the key to making any leafy green taste good is either a lot of butter, a lot of bacon, or both.
Which brings me to cabbage.
Ok, I lied. I made it once with purple cabbage and it was the best tasting sauerkraut I ever had but then I never made it again and then life went on.
And now here we are talking about boiled cabbage. I know the name doesn’t sound exciting and when my mother-in-law told me that’s what she was making I was a little leery — but holy wow. When you taste it, you’ll be excited because the cabbage actually tastes good. Like, real good.
I don’t think I can let the cabbage take all the glory because if it were just cabbage boiled in regular water, I’m not sure it would be as good. Remember how I said the key to making any leafy green taste good is either butter or bacon or both? Well, when you add a couple tablespoons of bacon grease to the water you boil the cabbage in, it results in a soft, tender, melt-in-your-mouth cabbage flavored bacon.
And then when you spoon that onto Italian seasoned mashed potatoes — with extra juice of course — and follow it with a bite of moist maple cornbread.. well, you’ve now reached the equivalent of a southern-flavored heaven. Or at least, I feel like I’ve reached that type of heaven.
And the best part? Cabbage is DIRT cheap AND doesn’t have to be purchased organic because most pests don’t like it (I think it’s because they’ve never had it boiled in bacon water). This means, you can have a quick, tasty, healthy, and cheap side dish.
Thank goodness for southern Mother-in-Laws, and bacon.
- 1 medium sized cabbage; cut into chunks
- 2-3 tablespoons bacon grease
- 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt to start; add more once on your plate
- water, bone broth, or a combination of both
- In a large pot, add enough water/broth to fill the pot half way.
- Turn heat to medium high and let the water/broth come to a boil.
- Add the bacon grease, salt, and the tough outer green leaves to the water and let boil for 10 minutes.
- Then, add the inside pieces of cabbage to the pot.
- Cover with a lid and let boil for an additional 15-20 minutes; stirring occasionally. You’ll want to taste test for doneness. I like my cabbage to be really soft but it’s up to you.
Loriel (pronounced Lor-E-elle) is on a journey to a more natural life and hopes to inspire those around her by writing about her stories on her blog, Naturally Loriel. She lives an abundant life with her husband Scott, three children, a crazy little Lilly cat and a flock of 8 chickens. She’s a dreamer of self-sufficiency, a lover of all things sweet, and has a knack for storytelling.