Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Julia Child's Braised Red Cabbage!

It's the time of year for hearty winter vegetables, especially those in the cabbage family. Red cabbage is a favorite of mine, but the traditional method, like the one in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", calls for five hours of cooking time. I just don't have that kind of time so I figured that this recipe was a perfect candidate for converting to the speedy pressure cooker. Plus, here in Southern California, it doesn't really get very cold, so heating up the kitchen for five hours is more stifling than cozy. I also cut back the calories from the original recipe by leaving out the bacon but if you want to leave it in, go here for the instructions from the original recipe. Here's my pressure cooked revision of Chou Rouge a la Limousine (Braised Red Cabbage with Red Wine and Chestnuts).

1 carrot thinly sliced
1 medium onion sliced
2 T butter
1 medium head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
1 tart apple cubed
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
6 cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups red wine (as Julia says, "good, young red wine: Bordeaux, Macon, Chianti)
2 cups stock (you can use any type: veggie, chicken, beef)
approximately a dozen peeled, cooked chestnuts cut in half or quarters (You may be able to find these canned or jarred)

Using a pressure cooker without the lid, saute the onions and carrots in butter for about ten minutes on medium heat. Add cabbage and continue stirring and cooking for ten minutes. Add everything but the chestnuts and bring to a simmer (this is the step shown in the photo). Place pressure lid on and bring to high pressure. Lower heat but maintain high pressure. Cook for one hour. Release pressure. Add chestnuts, simmer for five to ten minutes. Check flavor and add more salt to taste. If you feel it needs a touch more acidity add a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Great with sausages, turkey, mashed potatoes or any old-fashioned winter meals.