Happy New Year!
Living in the far northwestern part of the state of Montana doesn’t keep us from our deep south traditions of eating cabbage and black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. I know it’s superstitious, but if you think about it, many traditions are, like shooting off fireworks on New Year’s Eve to ward off evil spirits.
Eating black eyed peas is supposed to bring you good luck and a serving of cabbage symbolizes money or prosperity for the upcoming year. Eating cabbage on New Year’s Day, however, will do nothing if the dollar collapses and becomes worthless. Stocking up your garage with toilet paper would be a more advantageous holiday endeavor.
This recipe for Southern Style Smothered Cabbage comes from my husband who learned it from his mother. He taught me how to make it when we were newlyweds. The cabbage is slow-cooked in its own liquid, as opposed to boiling in lots of water the way my mom used to prepare it. Browning the vegetables incorporates their subtle flavor notes for a true southern dish. Sorry Mom, I’ve abandoned my German heritage for this time-tested smothered cabbage.
Southern Style Smothered Cabbage
- 1 head of green cabbage
- 1 small bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 onion
- Hot sausage links or rope sausage of your choice
Slice sausage and saute until brown. Add bell pepper, garlic, and onion to the sausage drippings and cook until soft. Add chopped cabbage.* Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
*Do not add liquid to the pan as cabbage has a high water content. Just make sure that you cook on low heat to prevent burning.
Serve along with a dish of black-eyed peas and a side of mashed potatoes for a tasty New Year’s Day meal.