Many of the sources we found when we made our frikadeller served the little meatballs atop a glorious mound of creamed cabbage (recipe follows), so we thought we should too. As mentioned before, you’re taking a day off from the diet when you dive into the world of Danish cuisine, and creamed cabbage is no exception. Any gains made with the wonderfully healthy green cabbage are easily offset by an ample helping of bacon, butter, and sour cream, but the result is pretty amazing.
Danish creamed cabbage starts out with a flour-butter-bacon fat roux, to which milk is added. The resulting sauce is a sort of bacon Béchamel, or “Baconchamel” as we have dubbed it in our kitchen. The cabbage is simmered slowly in the “Baconchamel” with some sour cream and caraway seeds until it is tender.
Danish Creamed Cabbage
SERVES 6 TO 8
- 1 medium head cabbage, cored and sliced thinly
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- 2 Tbs butter
- 4 Tbs flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 pinch caraway seeds
First we needed to crisp the bacon in a large pot over medium heat on the stove. Ordinarily this would be to give the bacon a pleasant crunchy texture, but since this is Danish cooking, we’re doing it all for the glorious bacon fat:
Stirring frequently, the bacon fried for about eight minutes or so until it was completely crisp and any fat that was going to render out had done so. The bacon was removed and reserved for later use, leaving the fat behind in the pot. Then, since the Danes like a well-rounded fat profile, we added the butter and stirred until it melted:
When the butter was almost melted we turned the heat down to medium-low. Once the butter was melted fully the flour was added and a roux was born:
After stirring over the heat for just a minute or two to cook out the raw flour taste, we were ready to add the milk a little at a time, stirring to thoroughly combine between each addition:
We kept adding milk until our sauce had reached a gravylike consistency, then added to the sauce the sour cream, caraway seeds, cabbage, reserved bacon pieces, and salt:
After about twenty minutes of simmering the cabbage was fully tender and ready to serve:
For our danish meal, the cabbage was topped with the frikadeller and served alongside boiled potatoes and gherkins:
The creamy sauce is a great pairing with the tender cabbage, and the pinch of caraway seeds gives the entire dish a subtle, rye bread-like flavor.
If we get the chance we would love to further explore Danish food. Denmark is famously the home of Rosenborg blue and Havarti cheeses and Carlsberg beer. Further, we’d be curious to play with the various topping possibilities on the national open-faced sandwich, the smørrebrød. To get that chance (at least as it pertains to The World Cup of Food) Danish cuisine must topple Chris’s ancestral cuisine of Norway, no small feat.
More from our Danish meal: