Smoked and Braised Red Cabbage
We decided to experiment with the cabbage because we already had the smoker fired up for ribs. So we placed the cabbages on the upper rack to see if they would absorb the smoky flavour of the whisky chips.....and they did! This takes a full day of cooking, but needs very little attention. It made an enormous amount: enough for 2 large family gatherings with leftovers.
2 heads red cabbage, cored
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 slices bacon
2 onions, diced
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup red wine or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 cup beef broth
1 cup apple cider
1 apple, chopped
Drizzle the cored section of each cabbage with a little olive oil, and wrap the outer sections of the cabbages with foil, leaving the core exposed.
Scatter soaked whiskey chips over the lit coals in the bottom of the smoker, and place the cabbages on the upper rack. Smoke for about 4 hours, or until very tender. Let cool slightly, then shred the cabbage.
Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, brown 6 slices of bacon. Once the fat has been rendered, use the bacon for whatever purpose you choose (bacon bits for salad, or in a sandwich). Add the diced onions to the fat, and cook until translucent. Add the shredded cabbage and the remaining ingredients, and simmer for several hours, until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 5 hours.
Serve as a side dish for any kind of roast or turkey.