March 13, 2009

Spiced Braised Red Cabbage and Glazed Corned Beef

Despite my denial (and complaining) winter is not yet over in Michigan. I could hear the snowflakes mocking me as they fell yesterday. Well I just had to make some wintery food and prove that I can take it no matter how long it lasts, even though I'm bluffing. In honor of St Patty's Day I had a corned beef brisket in the fridge. I was excited to try a glazed corned beef recipe that Kevin posted recently on his blog Closet Cooking. I could have made traditional boiled cabbage but all I had was red cabbage. Boiled red cabbage just doesn't really work.

So I made a new twist on standard braised red cabbage. I added star anise and cloves because they go so well together. Apple, onion, and bay leaf I left in from my typical red cabbage recipe but I swapped most of the red wine vinegar for ume plum vinegar. Ume plum vinegar is a wonderful condiment. It's made from umeboshi plums and shiso (a Japanese herb) fermented with sea salt. The result is a tangy, salty condiment that gives a nice punch of umami flavor to dishes. Beware the salt in the ume plum vinegar though, I removed all the other salt in the recipe because the vinegar itself is quite salty.

I liked the star anise, clove, cabbage combination a lot and was really happy with the added flavor from the ume plum vinegar. I can't say enough good things about Kevin's glazed corned beef. It's a great idea that combines sweet and salty with a little spice. It reminded me of Easter ham and my husband and son both loved it. The only addition I would make to his recipe would be to remind people to trim down the fat from the brisket before baking it with the glaze.

-Here's the recipe for Corned Beef Glazed in Honey and Mustard Dinner with Cabbage from Closet Cooking
-I recommend Eden Food's Ume Plum Vinegar, they're a Michigan-based company
-For the beef-free folks, how about serving the cabbage with my Honey Mustard Glazed Tofu

Spiced Braised Red Cabbage
Serves 4 generously, would easily serve 6 as a side dish

1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons neutral oil
1 small head of red cabbage, cored and shredded
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1 whole star anise
3-4 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf
3 tablespoons ume plum vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water

-Cook the onion in the oil in a large soup pot until soft and translucent, allowing the onion to caramelize a little is good but not necessary.
-Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and stir together.
-Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. The cabbage will be tender and the flavors will have melded together.
-Pick through to remove the star anise, cloves and bay leaf or warn your guests that these whole spices are not meant to be eaten.
-Serve hot. Additional ume plum vinegar can be served on the side to adjust the seasoning to individual tastes. Remind your guests that this vinegar is salty and should be used in place of additional table salt.

I'm adding this to Bookmarked Recipes, an event started by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen's Experiments. Visit the new Bookmarked Recipes site on Monday for the roundup of other bookmarked and tested recipes. This week’s round up will be hosted by Patsy of Family, Friends & Food.