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Lucky New Year’s recipes

Braised Red Cabbage

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 large red cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded (about 7 cups)

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 bay leaf

Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add cabbage, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes, until cabbage is glazed with sugar-butter mixture. Add broth, wine, vinegar and bay leaf; bring to boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 30 minutes, until cabbage is very tender and most of liquid has been absorbed. If still liquidy, uncover, raise heat and simmer briskly 2 to 3 minutes more, until reduced. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin with Port-Wine Sauce

Chef Richard Marmion plans to serve this lucky New Year’s Day dish at Andrew’s Steak & Seafood in Pittsburgh. For the moistest, most flavorful meat, don’t overcook the pork, he cautions. It’s fine a little pink in the center. Prepare the cabbage first and leave it covered.

Braised red cabbage (see previous recipe)

1 pound pork tenderloin, silver skin trimmed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 to 5 slices applewood-smoked bacon

3 large stems fresh thyme

4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with flat side of chef’s knife

2 tablespoons chicken broth

1 cup port wine

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Season pork with salt and pepper. Wrap in overlapping slices of bacon to cover completely. Secure bacon with toothpicks. Place on rimmed baking sheet.

Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, about 12 minutes, without turning, until bacon starts to color and render fat. Remove from heat. Turn oven to 400 degrees.

Put thyme and garlic in center of shallow roasting pan. Place tenderloin on top; scrape any pan drippings from pan over. Add broth to pan. Roast 10 to 15 minutes, until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 145 to 150 degrees. Transfer roast to warm platter; cover loosely with foil.

Pour port wine into roasting pan; stir to loosen browned bits. Scrape garlic, thyme sprigs and juices into small heavy saucepan or skillet. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until juices are nearly syrupy and reduced by 3/4 , about 10 minutes. Strain into a cup, then return to saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in butter, a small piece at a time, whisking until sauce is thickened. Pour any juices from pork platter into sauce; warm lightly.

Carve pork into coins and serve with sauce and braised red cabbage. Makes about 3 servings and 1/4 cup sauce.

Hoppin’ John

A spicy pot of rice and beans starts your new year with good luck and flavor. This recipe, adapted from “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook” (Norton, 2006), calls for a smoked hog jowl, but you can substitute bacon. If making the dish ahead, add a little broth or water to moisten when reheating.

1 cup dried black-eyed peas, picked over

1/4 pound slab bacon or 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

Olive oil, if needed

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

6 cups pork stock (see note)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3/4 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (14-ounce) can crushed Italian tomatoes

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice

Wash peas in strainer, place in medium bowl and soak in cold water to cover 4 hours or overnight.

In Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, render fat from bacon about 5 minutes, adding a little olive oil to pan if needed to prevent sticking. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth (I added broth and water plus the ham hock), black pepper, crushed red pepper and salt; bring to boil.

Let boil vigorously 10 minutes, then add drained peas. Simmer gently, uncovered, until peas are tender but still have some bite, about 25 minutes. Add tomatoes and rice, return to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes (no peeking or stirring), until most of broth has been absorbed, but rice and peas are still very moist.

Remove from heat and let steam, covered, about 5 minutes. Remove hog jowl, if used (or ham hock), and pull off any meat. Fluff Hoppin’ John with fork; sprinkle any shredded jowl or hock meat over top and serve. Makes about 10 cups, at least 6 servings, more as a side dish.

Note: I substituted 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth and 3 cups water, plus a smoked ham hock.

– Miriam Rubin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette