Pomegranates: Braised with Cabbage

Posted by Chef Mike Shackelford on Dec 05, 2011
Filed: Side Dish
Tagged: braising cabbage pomegranates

In ancient Egypt, pomegranates were regarded as a symbol for properity and ambition (Wikipedia). Today, they're often regarded as yard ornaments and a source of frustration--who really wants to spend five minutes peeling their fruit? Spend a little quality time with these beauties, though, and you'll be rewarded with a rich, sweet flavor, perfect for juice, cocktails, and braising cabbage.

Grower Spotlight

Dave Loquaci, a fourth generation Madera County farmer, grows roughly 300 acres of pomegranates. Although you may see some of his pomegranates at places like Costco and Trader Joe's, he mostly harvests them for personal use.

Talk with Dave and he'll describe differences in some of the 300+ varietals, or tell you how 60-80 gallons of juice can be created per ton of pomegranates (about 50% less than grapes). For 40 years, Loqauci Farms has made pomegranate juice to make syrup, sauces, and with a splash (or more) of vodka for 'pom-tinis' for friends and family.

Pomegranate-Braised Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, sliced crosswise into thin strips
  • 2 yellow Spanish onions, sliced thin
  • 3 heads green cabbage
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • Salt and fresh-ground black pepper

Instructions

Bring the pomegranate juice to a boil in a large, heavy bottom saucepan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the juice until it has reduced by half.

Meanwhile, cut each of the cabbage heads into quarters lengthwise. Remove the core from each of the quarters and chiffonade the cabbage, or slice them into thin ribbons, 1/4 inch or thinner.

In a large, heavy bottom soup or stock pot, lightly brown the bacon in the butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sweat until tender. Add the sliced cabbage and the pomegranate juice and stir frequently as the cabbage wilts. Increase the heat to med-high and continue to cook the cabbage stirring frequently until the cabbage has wilted down and the pomegranate juice has reduced to a glaze. Taste the cabbage and reseason if necessary.

Top with fresh pomegranate arils to serve.