Cut meat into 2-inch pieces and simmer in salted water until tender. In a large Dutch oven, fry some salt pork until crisp and the fat is rendered. Add meat and brown. Add a generous amount of chopped onion, some chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, diced tomatoes and simmer for 20 minutes.
Then add the water the meat was cooked in, some diced potatoes, a few bay leaves, salt and black pepper to taste, and a fresh datil pepper or a dash of datil pepper sauce. Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours over low heat. If necessary, thicken stew with a little flour dissolved in water, or some mashed hard-boiled egg yolks. For those that could afford the luxury of dry sherry, a dash would be added just before serving.
Serve piping hot with rice and corn pone.
Plain Old Swamp Cabbage
If ever the opportunity of a fresh cut cabbage palm presents itself, here is a recipe for fixin' it. For most folks, getting to the heart is more trouble than it's worth. For old timers and Seminole Indians, it was a way of life. If you want a true Florida adventure, try making it yourself.
Remove boots from palm and peel down to the heart. Break heart into bite size chunks and soak in cold water until ready to cook. Chop some onions. Fry ½ lb. salt pork, cut into small pieces, in a skillet. Add a handful of onions and some butter and cook until onions are soft. In a Dutch oven melt a stick of butter. Add a generous amount of cabbage and a fourth as much onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more cabbage and onion in the same proportion until pot is half full. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring to keep cabbage from burning. Serve when cabbage is tender.
To preserve our trees, please cut cabbages from palms that are growing in dense clusters, or from construction sites where they are to be removed. The best cabbage comes from trees that are from eight to twelve feet tall.