Cabbage is BIG in my family and we've always done more of a "stewed" cabbage (cooked in water with chicken bouillon, butter, onion, salt & pepper, with potatoes & spicy sausage like andouille or hot links). So when we made this dish in culinary school, it was the first time I'd tried cabbage cooked another way...LOVE IT!
In a large sautoir (saucepan with high sides), render the bacon until crisp. Add the onions and sweat until wilted. Add the cabbage and apples, cooking until wilted.
Add the remaining ingredients and combine evenly. Add water and the chicken base, if using, to level of cabbage and bring to a simmer and cover. Cook until tender and the liquid is almost totally evaporated. (If the cabbage is not cooked at this point, add enough water to continue braising the cabbage.)