Red cabbage braised with apples and spices. This side dish is a little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and is perfect served with any kind of pork.
If you are looking for a tasty way to enjoy red cabbage, you are in the right place. This recipe is sweet and sour, making it the perfect foil for a rich entrée like a roast or a schnitzel.
We have been getting a lot of delicious cabbage in our weekly produce boxes. Giant heads of green cabbage and smaller but oh so vibrant heads of red cabbage alike have been nestled in our treasure troves of veggies.
Now cabbage is a vegetable I’m not usually creative with. I buy a few heads a year to make sauteed cabbage and potatoes, a family favorite that we started enjoying when I was a child.
We also have cabbage in our corned beef feast around St. Patrick’s day, or as part of Instant Pot cabbage, potatoes, and kielbasa.
Add to that the fact that my husband really isn’t a cabbage fan and I’ve had my work cut out for me to stay ahead of the cabbage supply!
Luckily he was at least mildly impressed with the cheesy cabbage casserole and I loved it! So that helped use the green cabbage.
While I’m sure it would taste good with red, can you imagine how it would look?! Eek!
So I thought a German style braised cabbage would be a good option. So I went to pinterest to find a recipe.
I ended up finding quite a few and pulling bits from each. I went light on the nutmeg and cloves because I wasn’t quite sure how I’d like it. Next time I think I would be braver and add a bit more.
A bit of vinegar is necessary to give it that tang and a bit of sweet is needed to balance it. Instead of using sugar, I grated in some apple.
You can always give it a taste and adjust the sweet and sour balance as you go. Then on a whim I tossed in some raisins as well.
I am so glad I did. They did offer some additional sweetness and a bit of texture as well.
I didn’t see them in any of the recipes I was perusing, so it’s not traditional. But we really like it that way, so I would recommend it anyway.
Tips and Tricks
You want to cut the cabbage pretty thin. You can do this with a large sharp knife, or a mandolin.
Pretty much any kind of apple works for this recipe. So use whatever you have on hand.
You can use apple juice, apple cider, or even wine in place of the water in the recipe. That will add even more flavor.
You can make this a day in advance and just warm it up when you are ready to serve. That give the flavors even more of a chance to marry together.
Can I make this braised red cabbage without the vinegar?
You certainly can, but the color won’t be as vibrant. The vinegar not only adds the sharp, sour flavor, but it also helps to set the color. You can experiment with cutting back or omitting it, but the cabbage may start to look a little bit bleached without.u003cbru003eYou could also play up the sweet flavors a little bit more instead of cutting back on the vinegar. Add more apples or raisins, sugar, or even a drizzle of honey if you want.
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German Style Red Cabbage with Apples
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 medium or 2 small heads red cabbage
- 3 apples
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch cloves
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓ cup raisins
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Dice onion relatively small.
- Melt the butter in a large pot with a lid. A enameled Dutch oven works well for this.
- Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for a couple of minutes until they are translucent.
- Quarter the cabbage and shred into small strips. Add to the pot with the onion. Sauté, stirring occasionally for about 5 more minutes.
- Grate in the apples and add the vinegar, water, salt, nutmeg, coves, pepper and raisins. Cover and cook over low heat for about an hour.
- Remove lid and continue to cook until the cabbage is soft and the liquid is reduced.
- Stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasonings to your liking.