In my opinion, cabbage is the most underrated vegetable. It’s inexpensive, versatile, absorbs seasonings exceptionally well, and is jam packed with nutrients! Good ol cabbage is high in fiber, vitamin K, folate, B6, and low carb for my carb-avoiding friends.
This Apple Cider Vinegar Braised Cabbage & Fennel is a year round side in my kitchen. I love that this recipe isn’t fussy! This is a great recipe to make if you’re not super confident in the kitchen and want to build up your repertoire.
Apple Cider Vinegar Braised Cabbage & Fennel goes with a wide array of dishes. I’ve served this alongside roasted chicken, seared scallops, and (my latest creation) Meatballs with Medjool Dates and Granny Smith Apples.
Apple Cider Braised Cabbage and Fennel
- 1 large skillet or Dutch oven
- 1 wooden spoon
- ½ lb thick cut bacon cut crosswise into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 head of cabbage 1.5 ish lb, slice in half, remove core, and cut into large strips
- 1 head fennel trimmed, halved through the core, then cut lengthwise into 1/2" slices; fronds reserved for garnish
- ½ yellow onion roughly chopped
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp reserved
- 1 cup chicken stock
- kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- freshly ground pepper
- fresh dill torn; for garnish
- Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat has rendered, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove from heat and let the the skillet cool for a few minutes. You should have about 3-4 tbsp of fat left in skillet, if not, add some olive oil.
- Place the skillet back on medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; cook until the onions begin to sweat, about 3-4 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on the pan because you don’t want to scorch the onions; lower the heat if you see the edges starting to crisp. Our goal is to draw out the moisture from the onions but we don’t want them to brown.
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and fennel; cook undisturbed until the bottom of the cabbage and fennel begins to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir to rotate the cabbage so the brown side is up. This isn’t a perfect science, just try your best! Continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt and brown at the edges, about 7 minutes.
- Add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to remove any brown bits.
- When vinegar is mostly reduced, add a generous pinch of salt, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Simmer, stirring every so often, until cabbage is tender and all of the liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 tbsp of vinegar. Taste; season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Top with crispy bacon, torn fennel fronds & dill.