This is a dish mom would make for us when she had leftover ham (usually around Christmas time) as it’s was the only way she could ever make ‘cabbage’ seem attractive to us. When she didn’t have ham, show would use salted pork or tiny pieces of salted pig tails. If pork is not your thing you can always use smoked turkey or pieces of salted codfish as we did in a previous recipe.. where we also added boiled green bananas as our cousins in St Lucia would normally do.
1/2 large Cabbage (sliced)
1 small onion (diced)
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 carrot (julienne)
1 stalk celery (sliced)
2 pimento peppers
1 bird’s eye pepper (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the curry powder you use, as some may contain flour.
Dice the ham into 1 cm pieces and place into a heated (wide) pan over low heat. My ham was a bit fatty so I didn’t need any oil in the pan. Allow to cook (render down the fat) and go a bit golden in color. It may take a few minutes. Should you have a lot of fat in the pan, remove some and discard. Do NOT pour that fat down your kitchen sink or risk clogged pipes.
With the heat still on low, go in with the onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the black pepper and pimento pepper, along with the Bird’s Eye Pepper (any hot pepper will work.. providing with want some kick) and celery. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir well to incorporate the flavors.
Its now time to add the carrot and stir well. Right after you can go in with the cabbage. Heat on medium at this point please.
Here’s where you now add the salt (be mindful that the ham will add a salty element to the dish already), taste and adjust and personalize how long you want to cook the cabbage. I like it with a slight crunch, so I gave it 4-5 minutes, then the stove came off.
A quick and tasty way to put leftover ham to use.. goes great with rice, roti or as I did on this occasion.. on sandwiches.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2