Though cabbage is often cast as a humble ingredient, but we prefer to see it as a handy one. It can stand up to any cooking technique—be it boiled, roasted, sauteed, grilled, or raw—but we love it best in a braise.

Our one-skillet recipe begins, as many delicious things do, with bacon, which provides the fat for searing the cabbage wedges, and adds a smoky flavor to the braising liquid thickened and sweetened with grated apple. The braise’s fall flavors make for a meat-lover’s side dish: serve it with pork chops or roast chicken, or smother it over baked salmon.


Smoky Braised Cabbage, Onion, and Apples

Yield: 4 servings


4 slices bacon (preferably double-smoked), cut crosswise into ¼-inch lardons
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
1½ pounds (about ½ large head) green cabbage, cut into 1-inch wedges through the core
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled and coarsely grated
1 cup chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground coriander



Scatter the bacon in a No.8 (10 ¼”) cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook until the bacon is well browned and crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the fat behind.


Increase the heat to high and add 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted, add half of the cabbage wedges and season with salt. Cook the cabbage until deeply browned on one side, then flip and cook until the other side is browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining cabbage wedges, adding more butter to the skillet if needed. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


Return the cabbage to the skillet along with the apple, bacon, chicken stock and coriander. Season with salt. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the cabbage is very tender, about 1 hour. Serve.