Braised Cabbage with Apple and Bacon

  • Recipe(s): Must-try braised cabbage with apple, bacon and balsamic vinegar (page 358)
  • Prep: Easy
  • Taste: Good

Back on November 5, 2014, we completed the final cabbage recipe out of, ‘Cook with Jamie…’, which took us one step closer to completing our challenge of making every single recipe in the book over the course of 2014.

As with a majority of the vegetable recipes that we have completed, the prep on this one was easy. I love when the recipe calls for an ingredient to be chopped into irregular sized pieces. You don’t have to be precise whatsoever and it’s much quicker to chop. The portion of the prep that took longest was mashing the fennel seeds up in the mortal and pestle. Everything else was nice and easy.

After that has cooked away on the oven top for a few hours it is ready to go. The books states that you will want to eat it right out of the pot, which is a fair statement. As I was sitting around waiting for the dish to finish my mouth began to water as the sweet smell of reduced balsamic vinegar and bacon permeated my nose. You can imagine the fervour with which I took my first bite after an hour of waiting.

So, how was the first bite? Well, it was good but to be honest I was expecting more. The smell of the dish definitely tricks your mind into thinking it is going to taste amazing. I’m not saying the dish was horrible, it was far from it, it just didn’t live up to what I thought it was going to taste like when it was cooking.

This is probably a good point to mention that I ran out of balsamic vinegar and had to substitute half of the required amount with a red wine vinegar. This definitely upped the acidity of finished dish, which, unfortunately overpowered the rest of the ingredients. You still got some of the other flavours; the smokiness of the bacon and the sweetness of the apple and fennel seeds but even these were masked heavily from the acid.

It is difficult to rate this dish due to my error. If I had been able to use the proper amount of balsamic there’s a good chance that this dish would have been outstanding. If I am rating on smell alone, I would say excellent. For this reason my rating is ‘good’ but I’ll make it again with the correct ingredients, which may very likely change my rating.

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