14 January, 2013


A traditional Irish-American corned beef dinner typically includes green cabbage, boiled either in the corned beef stock (sign-in for recipe) or separately in cold water (sometimes in wine, in Cajun country). This post contains four recipes using several preparation methods for serving cabbage with a corned beef dinner.

Farm Journal suggests these herbs for seasoning cabbage:
  • Boiled: Add savory, cayenne or red pepper, or fennel to cooking liquid.
  • Fresh or pickled: Add dill, caraway or celery seeds, or marjoram to coleslaw and sauerkraut.
  • Steamed: Add allspice, dill weed, marjoram or tarragon (or caraway seeds for red cabbage) to melted butter.

America's Best Vegetable Recipes: 666 Ways to Make Vegetables Irresistible Edited by Nell B Nichols (Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1970), 266.

I'll reserve any stock from cooking cabbage to make soup because I've learned the nutritional value of boiled cabbage. Any of these soup recipes should work nicely:

Side Dishes
Here's a range of recipes for preparing cabbage to accompany a corned beef dinner:
  • Boiled & Baked: Cabbage Au Gratin, Glorified Cabbage (below)
  • Sautéed: Mrs. Wallace's Sautéed Cabbage (below)
  • Smothered: Marcelle's Smothered Cabbage (below)

Cabbage Au Gratin
Farm Journal
Makes 6 servings
1 medium head cabbage, shredded (2-quarts)
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated process American cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp melted butter

Notes:  Try cooking cabbage with onions and red pepper; then, use béchamel sauce instead of the Velveeta.

Prepare cabbage 
Cook cabbage in boiling salted water until tender, five to seven (5 to 7) minutes; drain.

Prepare sauce
Meanwhile, and in a saucepan, combine the remaining casserole ingredients; heat, stirring, until cheese melts. Combine sauce with the cabbage; place in a greased 1.5-quart casserole.

Prepare Topping
Toss the bread crumbs with butter until coated; sprinkle on top of cabbage.

Bake casserole in moderate oven (350ºF) until thoroughly heated, about fifteen (15) minutes.

America's Best Vegetable Recipes: 666 Ways to Make Vegetables Irresistible Edited by Nell B. Nichols (Garden City: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1970), 18 -19.

Glorified Cabbage aka Choux Glorieux
Servings not stated
Side dish
1 medium cabbage
Cooking oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 or 4 stalks celery
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2-lb. cheese, grated (divided use); see Notes:
3 or 4 slices of bread, toasted and soaked in milk
1/2-pint cream
1 block butter
Plain bread crumbs (optional)
2 or 3 pods garlic, minced
Parsley, finely chopped

1/4 cup of the grated cheese
Plain bread crumbs

Notes  Lafayette, LA recipes use cheddar or Velveeta cheese.

Parboil cabbage until tender; remove from heat and drain. Chop fine.

Place cooking oil in saucepan; wilt onions, celery and bell pepper. Add the cabbage and smother. When cabbage is well smothered, add 1/2 cup of the cheese; continue cooking. 

Soak the toasted bread in milk until soft; squeeze out milk. 

Add the soaked toast, cream, butter and bread crumbs (if using) to the cabbage mixture, keeping it desirably moist for proper casserole consistency. Add the garlic and parsley; remove from heat and place in a 2-quart casserole. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup cheese with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the casserole. 

Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until thoroughly heated, about twenty to thirty (20 to 30) minutes.

The Glorified Cabbage recipe is from the Junior League of LafayetteTalk About Good! (Dallas: Wimmer Brothers, 1969), 143.

Mrs. Wallace's Sautéed Cabbage
Servings not stated
3 slices bacon
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 level tsp salt
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 green onions, top and bottoms chopped fine
1 large bell pepper, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
1 large head cabbage, shredded
1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

Fry bacon until crisp; then remove from skillet and crumble. Set aside.

Add oil and salt to skillet; when hot, sauté onions until golden, not crisp, about five (5) minutes. Then, sauté bell pepper with the onion for two (2) more minutes. 

Sauté cabbage in hot oil, tossing constantly, for no more than 7 minutes. Add black pepper and bacon crumbles. Toss and serve hot.

Mrs. Wallace's recipe is from the Junior League of Lafayette, Talk About Good! (Dallas: Wimmer Brothers, 1969), 144.

Smothered Cabbage
Makes 6 servings
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup diced ham
1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large head cabbage, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 tsp sugar
Salt, cayenne and black pepper to taste

In a large heavy pot, cook the onions and ham in the vegetable oil over Medium heat until onions are wilted, about five (5) minutes. Add the cabbage, water, sugar, salt, cayenne and black pepper.

Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about thirty (30) minutes or until the cabbage is soft and tender.

Marcelle Bienvenu, Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic and Can You Make a Roux? (Lafayette: South Louisiana Publishing, 2001), 100 and The Times-Picayune (July 21, 2011).

What's your favorite cabbage recipe?

Irish / Irish-style

Page Last Updated 19 May 2015

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