The recipe for a wonderful family meal is sometimes really simple and hearty stew is often the central part of this equation. At first glance the name “swamp cabbage stew” might not sound delicious, but it is extremely yummy.
The name comes from the native swamp cabbage (sabal palmetto) that grows in Florida from which this stew was first made. This plant is now protected by conservation laws and today most people use canned hearts of palm or the more-available green cabbage, the latter of which can be found in any grocery store without fuss.
1 pound thick-cut slab bacon
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 head green cabbage, chopped OR 1 14-ounce can hearts of palm, drained and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with their juices
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 16-ounce can tomato juice
2-3 cup cooked white rice
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
Heat medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook bacon until crispy, saving back the bacon grease. Set aside bacon on paper towels.
Use 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat to sauté the onions and cabbage in a large stock pot until just starting to brown
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, jalapeño, thyme, and sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer 30-40 minutes partially covered.
Chop bacon into small pieces.
Serve over rice with 1/4 cup bacon crumbled on top of each portion.