Let’s Talk Turkey, Part 4

Today, my good intention bricks have been added to the road to Hell. I was super busy all day with the corporate overlords, and here it is, Thanksgiving Eve Eve. My house is kind of a wreck, it’s almost time for bed, and I have plans to cook all day tomorrow.

I must admit defeat: The duck and sweet potato french fry recipes I promised you are going to have to wait until after Thursday, when I will post them with photos of how it all went down when I worked the kitchen magic.

But rejoice! Here is the cabbage with chestnuts from Mastering the Art of French Cooking (with a minor edit: butter instead of coconut oil).

Braised Red Cabbage with Red Wine and Chestnuts (Chou Rouge a la Limousine)
Braised red cabbage needs 4-5 hours of slow cooking to develop its full flavor. Once it’s in the oven, it needs barely any attention (hooray!) and it tastes best when cooked in advance and reheated the next day.

1/4-lb. bacon
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup sliced onions
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 lbs. (6-7 cups) red cabbage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups diced tart apples
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef stock
24 peeled chestnuts

Note: The original recipe calls for a Dutch oven with a lid so you can work on the stove, then put the pan in the oven. I just used a large, deep saute pan, then transferred the cabbage to a 13X9 pan covered with foil for the oven cooking. It worked great!

1. Prep the chestnuts. With a small sharp knife, peel an 1/8-inch strip of shell off each side of each chestnut. Set chestnuts in a saucepan of cold water, bring to a boil and boil for one minute; remove from heat. Then three at a time, with a slotted spoon, dip the chestnuts out of the water and peel off the shells and inner skins. The whole peeling process must be done while the chestnuts are warm. Set aside any stubborn chestnuts, then re-boil and peel.

 2. Preheat the oven to 325.

3. Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch strips; this makes about 2/3 cup. Place one quart of water and the bacon in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook bacon for 10 minutes.

4. Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan, then add the bacon, carrots, and onions. Cook over low, with the lid on the pan, for 10 minutes WITHOUT browning. (This step will be difficult for me 😉

5. Add the cabbage to the bacon-vegetable mixture, stir to mix well, then cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes.

6. Add the apples, garlic, spices, red wine, and stock to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 3 to 3.5 hours.

7. Add the peeled chestnuts to the cabbage, cover, and return to the oven for 1 to 1.5 hours more, or until the chestnuts are tender and all the liquid in the pan has been absorbed. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary.

*If you make the cabbage in advance, reheat SLOWLY in the oven before serving. Say, an hour or so at 350.

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6 Responses to “Let’s Talk Turkey, Part 4”

  1. jencereghino says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you my blogosphere friend! Here's to lifting heavy things and cooking good food. Cheers!

  2. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    And to YOU, superstar. XO

  3. American Renaissance says:

    How did this turn out!? This is definitely a beautiful dish! Anything braised in red wine and bacon has to be food-candy.

    I'm sooo making this next week.

  4. Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    This was FANTASTIC! While I was peeling the chestnuts with my husband Dave, I said something like, "This better be the best cabbage EVER because peeling these chestnuts is a total pain." It was the best cabbage EVER. It's not difficult to make; the chestnuts were just a *little* time-consuming, but worth it. The cabbage is very flavorful, and the chestnuts absorb the wine and beef broth to become creamy/nutty/potato-y — which makes the whole dish feel decadent. And it's not. It's Good For You. Hooray!

  5. Catherine Hart Rebholz says:

    I can officially report, it was the best cabbage EVER!!!!

    My taste buds are still crazing it. Mel, you are a genius :)

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