It was a rainy day, and I was determined to make dinner out of what I had on hand. There was a past-its-prime cabbage, some flat beer, and a little ham. Funny how the best dishes sometimes come out of evenings like this. Kevin made the whipped potatoes, which are literally boiled potatoes whipped (in a stand mixer) with butter, a little cream, and salt. It was a great combination.
Beer-braised Cabbage with Ham
(Serves 4 as a side dish, or 2-3 as a main dish, with potatoes. Depends how many are Irish, I think.)
6 oz. ham, cubed small
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
1 small head green cabbage, sliced thin
12 oz. beer, preferable Cape Cod Red
2-3 T. mustard, depending on how much you like it
2 t. dried thyme
2 t. caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large pot over high heat. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown and some of the fat begins to render out. (If you’re using very lean ham, you might want to add some oil to the pot before you put the ham in.)
Add the onion and continue to cook until it begins to wilt.
Add the rest of the ingredients, and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pot, and simmer until the cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with whipped potatoes.