It turns out I already have blogged about wortes before so I can’t nerd about about those collard green recipes again, bringing down the Neiman Marcus coolness factor like only a history nerd can.
However I have a head of cabbage so I move forward. The following recipe is a lovely, calorically dense, winter cabbage stew.
It is flavoured with marrow which is cooked to release it from the bones in the broth. Beef marrow is very creamy and has a deep, earthy flavour rather than the sharp, salty notes of bacon fat, or butter. You can get beef bones from your local artisanal butcher or in the frozen meat section of a low end grocery store and lots of places in between.
This recipe calls for parboiling the cabbage and draining it really well before cooking it in the broth. This would mean that the strong cabbage flavour won’t overwhelm the dish. It also shrinks the leaves before trying to fit other things into a full pot.
Caboges. Take fayre caboges, an cutte hem, an pike hem clene and clene washe hem, an parboyle hem in fayre water, an thanne presse hem on a fayre bord; an than choppe hem, and caste hem in a faire pot with goode freysshe broth, an wyth mery-bonys, and let it boyle: thanne grate fayre brede and caste ther-to, an caste ther-to Safron an salt; or ellys take gode grwel y-mad of freys flesshe, y-draw thorw a straynour, and caste ther-to. An whan thou seruyst yt inne, knocke owt the marw of the bonys, an ley the marwe .ij. gobettys or .iij. in a dysshe, as the semyth best, and serue forth. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (1430)
- Head of cabbage, cored and sliced into large pieces
- 8 cups of broth (any kind)
- 4 beef bones with marrow intact
- 2 cups dry bread crumbs, or leftover oatmeal made with beef broth
- pinch of saffron
- salt to taste
- Place cabbage pieces into a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a boil on a high heat. Remove pot from heat and strain cabbage. Rinse with cold water and then press the water out of the leaves by hand. Chop cabbage into bite sized pieces and return to pot.
- Cover cabbage pieces with broth, then add bones. Cover pot and bring to boil on a high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer until marrow is soft, and almost falling out of the bone, approximately 1 hour.
- Remove bones from pot and slide out the marrow using a butter knife. Set marrow aside.
- Add saffron, salt and breadcrumbs to cabbage mixture. While stirring gently, let mixture simmer for 5 to 10 minutes on medium-low heat, until thickened.
- Serve cabbage stew hot, with a garnish of marrow, dividing the marrow among the servings.