Braised Savoy Cabbage with Bacon

This recipe makes an excellent accompaniment for a variety of dishes. Look for a large, firm Savoy cabbage with crisp dark green outer leaves. You can make this one day in advance and reheat it on the stovetop. For added flavor, try replacing the water with chicken stock. Makes 8 servings.

1 1/2 pounds Savoy cabbage—quartered, cored, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 -inch-thick wedges
4 slices smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons finely shredded sage
1/2 cup water

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the cabbage wedges until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and refresh the cabbage under cold running water.
2. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over low heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is slightly crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the butter and stir until melted. Arrange the cabbage wedges in the casserole in an even layer, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the sage. Cover with a round of parchment paper and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the water, cover again with the parchment and simmer until the cabbage is tender and the liquid is flavorful, about 20 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve.