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Burger Cabbage Skillet

When you think of cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, and beef in a dish, what meal comes to mind?  The American Sunday standard, stew or pot roast.  But why?  Why can't the good wholesomeness of a stew be combined with the simplicity of a beef and cabbage egg roll stir fry?  Why can't bacon be added for an additional depth of flavor.  Bacon and cabbage, bacon and potatoes, cabbage and carrots, cabbage and potatoes, carrots and potatoes.  What really could go wrong with the combination of all the ingredients in a skillet hash sort of meal?  Nothing, really.

1 onion, finely diced
8 slices bacon, diced
1 lb burger
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
salt, pepper
1 cup water (optional)

In large dutch oven, fry bacon and onions together till bacon is extra, extra crispy.  Brown lean meat.  If using 70/30 meat, the bacon grease should be drained first.  When meat is fully cooked, add in cabbage, salt and pepper.  If needed, 1 cup of water can be added to keep meat from sticking.  I did not need water as the dish was covered to keep steam from evaporating out.  Once cabbage was almost cooked, the meat was tasted for seasonings and the shredded carrots were added.  Shredded carrots cook very quickly.  You could cook for a few minutes or just toss the carrots thoroughly, turn off the heat, and let the dish rest covered for about 10 minutes.  

Scaled for Likability: Good
Bacon and I have a lot hate relationship.  Bacon must always be crispy, the crispier the better.  One could say even close to burnt is best.  Bacon when cooking in most meals becomes soggy, chewy, and gross even if cooked crispy first.  IE: Not Fabulous Green Beans.  Flavorings of bacon is a must, but bacon itself, not so much.  So it came as no surprise that the bacon after cooking with the cabbage became soft.  All the crispy gone.  It was not quite chewy but it was most definitely not crispy.  Other than the less than perfect bacon, which by the way the table counterparts loved as it was, the meal was better than the table counterparts expected.

The potatoes held their shape, the cabbage was cooked but not soggy, the meat flavorful.  The only thing I would change for the next time this dish is cooked is to cut the carrots on thin slices instead of shreds.  More typical of stir fry carrot slices but not chunks found in pot roast.  Strips allowed the flavor of the carrots to get missed.  Need more heft to taste against all the other flavors of the dish.

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