It is spring and small green leaves are beginning to peak out of the sea of brown that was winter in Denver. Green is the color this week not just because of spring but because of St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday I dread most for a variety of reasons- I have no trace of Irish in my family, I loathe the commercialized green beer aspect of it, and well, it is the day my father passed away so there is nothing to celebrate for me. Frankly, I just pretend it doesn’t happen every year and do my best not to be annoyed with the chaos. This year, I caved. And I caved for three reasons: a good cause, an insistent friend, and a recipe I wanted to share.
The cause: a fundraiser benefitting the St. Baldrick Foundation March 16 at Fado’s Irish Pub. This, I hear, is the largest volunteer-driven fundraising event for childhood cancer research. [ let me mention that my father died of cancer.] At this event, thousands of volunteers shave their heads in solidarity of children with cancer while requesting donations of support from friends and family. The goal this year is $225,000 and Fadó Irish Pub will donate 20 percent of all food sales during the event. You can get more information here.
The insistent friend: Sarah Gore. If you need a social media wiz, she is your girl. If you need marketing advice, call her. If you want to improve your customer service, she‘s on it. In the process of being all wiz-like and on it, she provided me with a couple of friendly reminders about this event. So for her and for the worthy cause– I say go to Fado’s this Friday starting at 11 am and all through the day until 6:30 pm.
The recipe: braised cabbage. I tried to find my inner Irish and all I could find was my inner Romanian. But it turns out the two are not as far from one another as I thought they were. This very simple preparation for cabbage is a classic Romanian dish but also appears to resemble a few traditional Irish ones.
Romanian Braised Cabbage
Ingredients: 4 oz bacon, cubed small; 1 medium head of green cabbage, cut into thin strips; 10-15 whole black peppercorns, salt to taste.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, render the bacon fat over medium heat until the meaty part of the bacon starts to crisp. Adjust your heat as needed to allow the fat to melt or the meat to crisp. Remove the crispy meaty bits and reserve.
Add the cabbage and increase the heat to medium-high stirring the cabbage around to coat it with the melted bacon fat. Stir every few minutes to prevent it from sticking to the bottom but do allow it to caramelize. About 25-30 minutes in, it should look like this.
Serve it with your favorite corned beef recipe or with a hearty stew.