by Molly Stevens

1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 large yellow onion (about 8 ounces)
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1/4 cup chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, or water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

1-Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a large gratin dish or a baking dish (9 by 13 inch works well).

2-Trimming the cabbage: Peel off and discard any bruised or ragged outer leaves from the cabbage. The cabbage should weigh close to 2 pounds. If the cabbage weighs more than 2 pounds, it won’t fit in the baking dish and won’t braise as beautifully. To remedy this, cut away a wedge of the cabbage to trim it down to size. Save the leftover wedge for salad or coleslaw. Then cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Arrange the wedges in the baking dish, they may overlap some, but do your best to make a single layer.

3-The Braise: Scatter in the onion and carrot. Drizzle over the oil and stock or water. Season with salt, pepper, and the pepper flakes. Cover tightly with foil, and slide into the middle of the oven to braise until the vegetables are completely tender, about 2 hours. Turn the cabbage wedges with tongs after an hour. Don’t worry if the wedges want to fall apart as you turn them: just do your best to keep them intact. If the dish is drying out at all, add a few tablespoons of water.

4-The finish: Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil, increase the oven heat to 400 degrees, and roast until the vegetables begin to brown, another 15 minutes or so. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with coarse salt.

Variation: Braised green cabbage with Balsamic vinegar

In step 4, after you remove the foil, sprinkle on 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic and turn the cabbage with tongs to distribute the vinegar, then roast for another 15 minutes, uncovered as directed.