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Honey & Co’s hearty, flavourful cabbage and potato pie recipe

Honey & Co’s hearty, flavourful cabbage and potato pie recipe

November 07
18:44 2018

Cabbage is one of the most versatile vegetables, yet it rarely gets the love it deserves. Other brassicas have a much better rep: purple sprouting broccoli is regarded as a winter treat; Brussels sprouts pretty much own Christmas; black cabbage leaves got themselves a **** Italian name, cavolo nero, and are now considered worth a trip to the farmers’ market. But plain old cabbage is just there, like a friend who’s a bit boring but around when you need them.

Cabbage is available throughout the year in some form or another, and it always seems to find a way to suit the weather. In spring, we blanch the new cabbage petals like asparagus and toss them in butter and sea salt. Summer is the time to make spicy, sharp slaws and grill wedges on the BBQ until they’re smoky sweet, before dressing them with olive oil and capers.

But cabbage is most associated with the cold months. It is one of the very few vegetables that benefit from slow cooking, and just as we enjoy the crunch it brings in summer, we relish it when it is soft and yielding after a long braise, as it is in this humble pie where cabbage is king.

The potato topping has a slightly retro, Fanny Cradock-esque feel, a good thing in our book. The filling is made only with onion, cabbage and some sedate seasoning but it is hearty, flavourful and rich — almost meaty. If you like, you can serve it as a side dish with a simple roast or braise but beware: it will steal the show. Much better to give it centre stage as a main course on a chilly night.

Cabbage and potato pie

© Patricia Niven

Will serve three to four as a main, six to eight as a side dish

3 tbs olive oil
2-3 onions peeled and sliced (about 300g)
1.5kg cabbage (about 2 cabbages — we used a mix of white and purple, but any colour works)
2 tsp salt
2 tbs tomato purée
½ tsp sugar
10 whole allspice seeds (pimento)
1 tsp whole caraway seeds
2-3 large potatoes, peeled (about 500g)
a few knobs of butter or a little more olive oil and some sea salt
  1. Take your largest pot and set it on the stove on a medium heat. Add the olive oil and the onion slices and sauté until they start to soften a little, about 5 minutes.
  2. Quarter the cabbages and remove the core. Shred the quarters into slices from top to bottom. This might look like loads of cabbage, but it will wilt. Pop it all into the pot with the onions, add the salt and cover with a lid. Keep the heat on medium and don’t move it for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the lid, mix well, add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the potatoes and butter) and cover again. Cook for a further 10 minutes, remove the lid and mix well. Cook for the final 10 minutes, without a lid, stirring occasionally until any liquid has reduced down and the cabbage is very soft. Transfer the cabbage to a casserole or pan that will fit it all snugly to the top. You can do this a day in advance — and keep it in the fridge if you wish.
  3. Heat your oven to 200C (fan assist). Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can and fan them all over the cabbage, allowing some overlapping between the slices. Cover with little knobs of butter or drizzle with a little more olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the potatoes have become golden and crisp. Serve hot.

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