Fritz Blank's Lucskos Káposziá
This Hungarian style "slushy" cabbage - sometimes known as “night-of-the-howling-wolf cabbage” - demonstrates the natural affinity certain herbs have for cabbage. Rather than merely seasoning our noble vegetable, the four herbs used here combine and marry with the cabbage to create a brand-new flavor which is distinct from any of the individual components. When this dish is made without meat, a cleaner taste results which I prefer to serve as a side vegetable rather than the traditional Eintopf with its pigs ears and tails.
1 large head “regular” green (white) cabbage (Savoy is better, but not as available.)
2-3 tablespoons lard or goose fat.
(optional) 2-3 stips of bacon
(optional) 1-2 lbs fresh pork shoulder, spare ribs or pigs tails and ears.
water (q.s. to cover the cabbage)
1-2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1-2 teaspoons dried summer savory (Hungarian:csombor [“tsom-boor-r-r”] )
1-2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1-2 teaspoon dill seed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (to taste)
1 tablespoon sugar (to taste)
1 bay leaf - preferably fresh
2 tablespoons cornstarch in 1/4 cup water prepared into a slurry
2 cups sour cream or sour cream mixed with buttermilk or yogurt
1. Place bacon pieces, lard, or goose fat into a large pot and melt over a medium-high flame.
2. Halve and remove and discard the core from the cabbage heads. Slice each half into one-inch wide slices, and then each slice into one-inch ‘cubes.’ Place into the pot, and sauté until cabbage is coated with the cooking fat and wilted. Do not brown.
3. Add the fresh pork, spices, vinegar, sugar, and sufficient water to cover the cabbage.
4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours until cabbage is very tender.
5. Adjust seasonings and thicken with the cornstarch/water slurry. Finish with sour cream or a mixture of sour cream and buttermilk.
6. Serve with roasted pork and or sausages.