We were cleaning out the freezer at the weekend and I found a nice piece of salt beef that was in danger of having been in there for far too long, so what's a gal to do. I thawed it out and cooked it. I know it's not St Patrick's Day or even close to it . . . but in all honesty I can eat salt or corned beef anytime! And of course the tastiest go with it side dish has to be cabbage!
Cabbage is one of those love it or loathe it kind of vegetables. I am from the love it camp, but really if a cabbage is cooked properly I can't understand why anyone would loath it. When it's cooked properly, this is one very excellent vegetable. I challenge those cabbage haters to give this at least one go and see if I can't change your minds!
I think part of the bad rap that cabbage has gotten has come from being served lank, insipid blah overcooked cabbage . . . at school . . . at home . . . in . . . God forbid, but it happens . . . restaurants. I have a very old cookery book dating to the 1950's and the times that they give for cooking vegetables is horrendous! Can you imagine the flavour of broccoli that's been boiled for 15 minutes??? Cabbage which has been cooked for even longer than that???
It's no wonder some people loathe it. Cabbage really only needs about 3 to 5 minutes of cooking time, just so long as you prepare it properly in the first place. Always pick the freshest cabbage you can find. It should be bright and crisp, with no floppy limp leaves and a firm heart.
Finely shredded, lightly salted and cooked quickly in boiling water, it comes out perfect every time. Of course proper draining helps as well. You don't want to be eating watery cabbage. That's another yuck factor.
I follow Delia's advice and drain it in a colander and then press out any excess water with a small glass saucer. I then finish it off by chopping it into bits with the edge of the saucer and with a bit of seasoning and just a hint of butter, your cabbage will be delicious. Slightly buttery, perfectly cooked. I can't see anyone turning their noses up at this.
*Perfectly Cooked Cabbage*
Serves 4 generously