The BF and I don't watcha lot of cooking shows these days, mainly because both Food Network and Cooking Channel have veered away from actual cooking shows and focus way too much on competition-type shows or shows that visit restaurants. However, we always try to catch "My Grandmother's Ravioli" on Cooking Channel. I love the backstory of the grandmothers (and grandfathers!), and the recipes usually look really great.
We saw one episode months ago, featuring Millie Martin. She made ribs, macaroni & cheese, and something called 'hot cabbage'. It looked incredibly easy and tasty, so I made a mental note to try it someday. Of course, I forgot about it, until I saw a rerun of her episode. I looked up the recipe online, only to find it didn't exactly match how the dish was prepared on the actual show. So, I merged the posted recipe and what I saw on the show, and did the best that I could, and it turned out AMAZING. I did skip the fatback called for in the recipe and show, and opted to use bacon fat instead. If you wanted to make this dish vegetarian or vegan, it would probably still be amazing without the bacon fat...healthier, too!
This cabbage is a little sweet, a little tangy, with just the right amount of heat. It was super easy to prepare, and an absolutely perfect side dish. Definitely something I'll make again and again!
Millie's Hot Cabbage
adapted from My Grandmother's Ravioli
4 slices bacon
1 yellow onion, cut into strips
1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
1 red bell pepper,cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 medium head green cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sugar
Line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on the foil. Place in the center rack of a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400°. Cook the bacon for a total time of about 15-20 minutes (as in, 15-20 minutes starting as soon as you turn the oven on, not 15-20 minutes after the oven has heated) or until golden brown.
I actually skipped this step since I was out of bacon. Since I had a huge jar of meticulously-saved bacon fat, I just heated a few spoonfuls in a small pot to re-liquify it.
Strain the rendered bacon fat and set aside. Crumble the cooked bacon and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the onion, bell peppers, jalapeno, vinegar and soy sauce in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups of water and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
Add the cabbage, crushed red pepper flakes and sugar; cook for 10 minutes or until the cabbage is just wilted. Pour the reserved bacon fat into the mixture. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper if desired then serve with the crumbled, cooked bacon.