Getting Better, and A Good Bavarian Cabbage Recipe

Aside from nag­ging coughs, Pam and I are final­ly feel­ing more like our­selves. I think that by the mid­dle of next week, our Feb­ru­ary suf­fer­ings will begin to recede into mem­o­ry. I’m hop­ing our immune sys­tems will also have built up anti­bod­ies against this awful dis­ease. This is one case of the flu (or what­ev­er it was) that we don’t want to ever have to expe­ri­ence again!

We got ‘back on that horse’, and went out into the driz­zle, back down to do gro­cery shop­ping again at Granville Island, and I was pleased to see that Stew­art’s Bak­ery was back up again. Bet­ter 2 weeks late than nev­er. No cam­era for shots this time, but I will try and get some dur­ing the week when it isn’t so crowd­ed. The new glass cas­es, new offer­ings and ovens look spec­tac­u­lar, and I can say with some con­fi­dence that the mar­ket now has 3 very good (and very dif­fer­ent) bakeries.

Speak­ing of the mar­ket, I was rifling through some of my cook­books this morn­ing and came upon a recipe for Savoy Cab­bage and Pancetta* (orig­i­nal­ly an Ital­ian recipe). Feel­ing inspired, I stopped by Oya­ma to pick up the pancetta and men­tioned my idea to the fel­low tak­ing my order (there are often a dozen of them back behind the counter doing their best to deal with the throngs of cus­tomers, from what appear to be at the very least, France, Que­bec, and Ger­many. This chap was Ger­man, and bright­ened when I told him of my idea. “If you’d like to make it slight­ly dif­fer­ent­ly, here’s how my moth­er in Bavaria used to make it”:

Bavar­i­an Cabbage
1 Medi­um-sized Savoy Cab­bage, trimmed and cut in quarters
About 1/4 lb. of pancetta, diced
3–4 table­spoons flour
2 table­spoons butter
Dash of grat­ed nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Some Flat-leaf pars­ley, chopped fine­ly (option­al garnish)

Boil the cab­bage in water for about 15 min­utes, until it is ten­der, but still holds it’s shape. While it is boil­ing, cook the pancetta in a large skil­let under medi­um heat, remove and drain on paper. Drain all but a trace of the fat. (The salti­ness of the pancetta keeps one from hav­ing to salt the cook­ing water, although I nor­mal­ly would).

Remove the Cab­bage from the pot, and cut into small pieces. Reserve about 2 cups of the cook­ing water.

In the same skil­let under medi­um to low heat add the but­ter and flour to make a roux. Cook, mix­ing often until it is just slight­ly browned and no longer tastes like ‘raw’ flour. Slow­ly add 1 cup of the cook­ing water. Whisk to remove lumps and form a slight­ly thick­ened sauce. Keep adding about 1/2 a cup more water, con­tin­u­ing to whisk. Add back the cab­bage, and cook under medi­um heat, stir­ring to coat the cab­bage with the sauce. Add in the pancetta and sprin­kle nut­meg all over the dish, cook­ing for 5–10 min­utes more, stir­ring to com­plete­ly mix all of the flavours. Add salt and pep­per and adjust sea­son­ings as necessary.

Serve imme­di­ate­ly with the chopped pars­ley on top. 

We had the cab­bage with steamed Bratwurst made with leeks, fresh car­away Rye bread and Granville Island Win­ter Ale. If our con­sti­tu­tions were need­ing any­thing to sus­tain them, this sure­ly was just what der Dok­tor ordered.

*For those not famil­iar with pancetta, it’s a type of rolled, ital­ian bacon. It’s cured rather than smoked, so it’s salty with a dis­tinc­tive pork flavour. I love cook­ing with it and often make Pas­ta Al’ Ama­tri­ciana, which is not much more than diced, cooked pancetta, chopped onions, chopped toma­toes, and some hot pep­per. It makes for a gut­sy pas­ta sauce that is a main­stay of Roman cooking.

7 Replies to “Getting Better, and A Good Bavarian Cabbage Recipe”

  1. mmm, David, that looks real­ly good. I can send you some Dutch recipes if you like?

    PS. I get an error when I don’t fill in the email address

  2. Sure, Eva. Would love some!

    I’ll have to see what goes on when the email address isn’t filled in. Word­Press is great, but def­i­nite­ly not some­thing I can pro­gram (or patch).

  3. David,

    The dish sounds won­der­ful — Can’t wait to try it. Sounds like you two are quite the gourmets … 

    BTW, when I’m up there in April it appears a few “lefty” blog­gers are going to meet for lunch in The West End one day. Let’s see if I can add this link to Five Ring Cir­cus post on “Creek­side” Bowen Island blog and you’ll get the basic info:

    Check it out

    Would love to include you if you’re interested …

  4. Don’t know how authen­tic ‘Bavar­i­an’ the recipe was, but the fel­low who told it to me seemed to be. Not sure if the Pancetta is very Ger­man at all, frankly. I can vouch that it did taste pret­ty good, and that recipe will eas­i­ly serve 4 and then some.

Comments are closed.