One of my favorite go-to comfort dishes, especially when it’s cold outside, is this delicious and nourishing red cabbage and bison ragu.
Red Cabbage and Bison Ragu
Large head (3-4 lbs.) red cabbage, ideally, organic
4 medium yellow onions, finely diced
1 pound ground bison (buffalo)
2 generous tablespoons ground cumin
4 to 6 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt, or to taste
4 to 4-1/2 cups (32 oz to 40 oz) homemade, organic chicken broth
*If store-bought chicken broth, be sure to get low-sodium or no added salt.
2 tablespoons duck fat
To prepare cabbage:
Remove the outer leaves of the head, especially if there are any hard, curled or bruised leaves.
Stand the cabbage vertically (white core side down) on a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife’s, cut cabbage in half vertically. Then cut each half vertically again (you will have 4 wedges). Remove the hard white core from each cabbage wedge.
Slice each of the cabbage wedges into shreds, as thin as possible. (It does not matter whether you slice cabbage wedges horizontally or vertically).
Note: if you don’t want to slice the cabbage by hand, you can also shred using a mandolin or using a food processor that has a shredding attachment.
To cook the ragu:
In a large Dutch oven (5 quart or more), melt duck fat over medium-high heat. When the duck fat is hot (flick in a drop of water; if duck fat is hot enough, water will sizzle) but not smoking, add the finely diced onion. Cook onions, stirring frequently, until golden, apx. 8 mins. If onions begin sticking to the pan, add some stock to deglaze.
Once onions have browned, add shredded cabbage. Combine well with onions. Add apx. 2 cups of chicken broth, stir well. Cover. Cook cabbage and onions about 3 mins. over medium-high heat.
Uncover. Stir cabbage well. Lower heat to medium-low. Cover and cook apx. 10 mins.
Uncover. Stir cabbage well. Add another 2 cups of chicken broth. Combine well. Cover and cook another 10 mins. over medium-low heat.
Uncover. Stir in 2 tablespoons of ground cumin and 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. Blend well. Stir in 5 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar. Add the ground bison. Break meat up well, stirring into cabbage mixture until there is no more visible pink (this will take 1-2 mins. since bison is a game meat and cooks very quickly).
Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook another 15 minutes—or up to an hour (or more) over low heat. *Braised dishes take well to long, slow gentle cooking over low heat.
When ready to serve, season ragu with 1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt, or to taste.
Serve with cooked zoodles (zucchini noodles) or steamed broccoli and a fresh, organic mixed green salad.