Cabbage and leeks are amongst the plentiful winter vegetables in Scotland and it comes in so many varieties. I love red cabbage too, particularly raw in a slaw, but for this I’ve gone with savoy.
It’s a well known fact that bacon, particularly smoky bacon, makes everything taste good and a little goes a long way. Don’t ever throw the fat away either if your bacon is organic, pasture fed. That’s a nutritional ball of smoky, tasty goodness right there! Keep it in the fridge for frying up other veg. You’re welcome.
This recipe will keep in the fridge for days for a quick additional to an evening meal, or for breakfast/lunch with a fried egg on top. It also freezes and I often portion it up and pop it in the freezer.
Ingredients (serves 4-6 as a side):
Small head of savoy cabbage
2 rashers of streaky bacon
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2-1 cup of stock or water
1 tbsp thyme
Salt and pepper
Put a pan (you need one with a lid) on over a medium-high heat and throw in the bacon. Cook it until almost crispy, it should take about 5 minutes but just watch it carefully. It depends on the type of cookware you use and your cooker.
While that’s cooking, slice the leeks and the cabbage in shreds. We’re going for stringy-like texture.
With the leek I cut it right down the middle lengthways then slide them side by side.
When the bacon is ready remove it and the pan, turn the heat down and wait a minute or so before adding the leeks to the pan, you don’t want them to burn. Return the pan to the heat with the leeks and add the garlic. Stir through and let the leeks soften on a low heat for about 5 minutes.
Now add the cabbage, stirring thoroughly and coating it with the leeks and bacon fat. Add in the 1/2 cup of stock or water and put the lid on.
The next bit takes a bit of monitoring. It should take about 30 minutes to fully cook, maybe 40, but you’ll need to regularly stir it and make sure it’s not sticking to the pan. If it is, add a splash more stock or water. After around 20 minutes, chop the bacon and add it in, add the thyme and some freshly ground pepper. Fry for a minute then taste. Is it salty enough? More pepper? With the bacon in there, you may not need it.
Once you’re satisfied it’s done and tastes just right, serve it up as a dinner side immediately, or portion it up for later on. Big up the veg! (Note: my cabbage looks dark when it’s done because I used beef stock. Yours might be more green!)