I love my neighborhood. I love the businesses, and the friendly people, and the parks. I love the natural foods bodegas and the rooftop gardens. I love all of it. The outside of my apartment building isn’t exactly stunning, but the inside is out of this world. Sort of like the city, in some respects. For example, only a couple of blocks from my front stoop is an absolutely gorgeous waterfront park that looks over the river to Manhattan. My first night here I followed Colleen (the girl I’m subletting from) down to the pier. The walk felt sketchy at first, what with the empty buildings, deserted streets, and flickering street lights… but once you get past all that, it’s a straight view of the city that makes you feel tiny and enormous and alive all at the same time.
Along those hidden-beauty lines, the dish I’m sharing today wins no aesthetic awards. Braised cabbage is Miss Congeniality, not Miss America. However, though humans eat with their eyes, their looks-indifferent tummies will rejoice over this particular simple dish.
Beef stock-braised cabbage with semi-poached eggs is actually one of my fall-back meals. Not meant to be photographed, not meant to be shared. Just a homely, ugly, but utterly satisfying “I’m tired and don’t want to think” dinner. Then I was struck by the thought that somewhere out there, there was probably a foodie who would enjoy the occasional flavorful yet hideous meal. So, voila. Peasant food to the max. I’m a peasant, right? We’ll pretend.
Braised Cabbage & Poached Eggs
(serves one person with time and beef stock on their hands)
- 1 small onion, sliced into thin rings
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp beef tallow or butter
- 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
- 1/4 cup (or a little less) beef stock/broth
- 2 eggs
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat up a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add half your cooking fat and the onions and garlic. Cook until softened and starting to brown. Add the rest of your cooking fat and the cabbage. Allow to sizzle, pop, and fry for about two minutes (gently stirring/moving the cabbage to get all pieces exposed to heat), then add your splash of beef stock and cover. Braise, covered, for about three minutes.
Remove lid and stir the cabbage, then push into the center of the pan. Crack two eggs straight onto your cabbage pile, add salt & pepper to taste, and cover again for another two to three minutes.
Once the whites have just set, remove from heat onto a plate or into a bowl (a spatula should work just fine for this). The cabbage will be soft and flavorful, almost like noodles, and the eggs will be soft and slippery and very rich. A great breakfast, a great dinner. Let’s revel in the ugly foods, shall we?