Braised Beans and Savoy Cabbage

This cabbage, bean, bacon and potato dish is truly surprising. It doesn’t sound like much, and to be honest it doesn’t really look like all that much either. But it is incredibly tasty and so easy to throw together that we inevitably make it at least once a month.

Braised Beans & Cabbage

This dish seems like it’s straight out of some “wild west” novel. It’s the the type of meal Ma would have cooked up in “Little House on the Prairie” as the family struggled to survive in the harsh elements of the uncharted territories. A mish-mash of simple ingredients and full of protein, it would be a perfect meal after a long day of riding horses, chopping wood, or corralling cattle (or whatever else you would do in the wild open prairie). Obviously in our safe little house in Berlin, there is little to none of this activity going on (ie. none). Still, who doesn’t deserve a hearty and fortifying meal like this every once in a while?

We got the inspiration for this recipe from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day (which as you can tell is one of our favorite cookbooks). While her version is 100% is vegetarian, we actually added some bacon for a more hearty flavor. This would obviously be optional. But it really does bring this dish up a notch.

Braised Beans & Cabbage

The Recipe

Braised Beans and Savoy Cabbage

Inspired by Heidi Swanson‘s White Beans & Cabbage recipe

4-5 small new potatoes,  finely cubed.

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 can (~400g) of white beans

1/4 of an average sized head of savoy cabbage, shredded

Handful of grated parmesan

1/2 tsp of maple syrup (optional)

1-2 tbsp butter

A few slices of bacon, finely chopped. (optional)


Melt the butter in the pan over low-medium heat and add the chopped potatoes. Let this cook for about 5 minutes, scrapping and tossing the potatoes every few minutes.  Add the bacon and turn up the heat slightly. Cook for a few more minutes, until the bacon starts to get slightly crispy. Continue to toss the ingredients.

Next up, add the onions and the white beans. You should have enough fat in the pan from the bacon for the beans, but if not, add some more butter now.

Braise the white beans, scrapping the pan every few minutes so that they don’t stick. Cook for a few minutes. You want them to get slightly crispy and a touch browned.

Lastly, you add the cabbage and a bit of maple syrup to taste. Lower the heat and cover the pan for about another 3-5 minutes. I don’t like the taste of raw cabbage, so I like to keep it on a little longer. But be sure to take the pan off the heat before the cabbage totally loses its structure.

Season with salt and pepper. If the dish seems at all dry at this point, add some olive oil.

Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

2 Responses to “Braised Beans and Savoy Cabbage”
  1. Totally with you re bacon and Savoy cabbage. They’re a pairing made in heaven. There’s an ol’ Irish way of cooking shredded Savoy and slow cooking it over low heat for an hour. Served with potatoes, fried eggs and thick bacon it’s just fab!

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