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Beer-Braised Cabbage and Root Vegetables with Pickling Spice

Serves 4

The idea for this beer-braised cabbage and root vegetables recipe originated one St. Patrick's Day. I wanted to make corned beef and cabbage, but I was alone and there was no point in buying a whole corned beef or a brisket to make my mock corned beef. So, I purchased a chuck steak, browned it, added corned beef spices and beer, as in traditional recipes, cabbage and the usual root vegetables, making just enough for dinner and one meal of leftovers. It was so good that I thought about it quite often after that. The next time I craved cabbage, I decided to create a meatless version using beef broth for the meaty flavor. It was so good that I made it the next several times I had a head of cabbage on hand. Despite the number or ingredients, beer-braised cabbage makes a quick, easy, healthy and delicious one pot meal, needing only some good Irish soda or crusty bread on the side. See the notes below for a vegetarian version.

Beer-Braised Cabbage Recipe Photo

Place all ingredients in a large soup pot, adding water as needed to come about halfway up the vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste the broth for seasoning, adding more if needed. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage and vegetables are tender, an additional 30 minutes, depending on size of vegetables. Serve immediately, or keep warm over a very low heat. Spoon a little horseradish sauce on each serving, or pass it separately.

Notes: For a vegetarian version, use mushroom broth in place of the beef broth. If you cannot find it, vegetable broth will work, although the flavor will not be as 'meaty'. The amounts of spices depends on the amounts of cabbage and broth. Always taste for seasoning and add more if desired. The recipe can be made in any amount desired. Leftovers are equally delicious.