Apple, pear, cider, cider vinegar, come together to bring a sweet-tart goodness to this German Red Braised Cabbage dish. A simple, straightforward nod to Fall.
Before we get to this Braised Red Cabbage Recipe …
Remember a couple of years ago when Brittney Spears was in the news about every 15 minutes with some crazy stunt? Well my little dog Sammy, dressed up as Britney that Halloween. He played the part well by sporting a fedora, long wig, rhinestone studded sunglasses, a cropped t-shirt to expose a slightly over-weight belly and of course the mini skirt with no underwear.
We went to a local doggie Halloween costume party and won 1st place. Everyone stood in a big circle where each contestant was to parade around inside of that circle so everyone could see and review the costumes. I was holding Sammy in my arms, so I just walked to the center, placed him on the ground and took a few steps back and announced “I give you…Brittney Spears”. I knew he wouldn’t move because those sunglasses freaked him out. The crowd went wild, clapping and cheering and the rest is history. It was a proud moment for our household.
For a reason with a much less interesting story attached to it, Rode Kool, or Rotekohl has been our Halloween Tradition for years. I had this at a hotel in Vail at their German themed restaurant. I begged for the recipe. It’s been so long ago, that I can’t even remember the name of the hotel to credit.
Red cabbage gets a long braise with apples, pears, spices and vinegar to produce a beautiful flavored cabbage dish. During the two hours this dish is simmering on the stove, your house fills up with the most wonderful fall spicy aromas you can imagine. It’s a wonderful side dish for any German themed meal. Of course sausage comes to mind. It’s a great side dish for classic meatloaf.
Below is the basic recipe, I’ve also added bacon at times, some apple cider if I have it on hand. And even a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar at the end. Get creative and make it yours.
Perfect Fall Side Dish
- 1 large head red cabbage halved, cored and then cut into wedges about 2 inches across
- 2 whole apple cored and sliced
- 2 whole pears cored and sliced
- 6 whole cloves
- 8 whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaf
- salt to taste and lots of fresh ground pepper
- 2 thick slices onion
- 3 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Place cabbage in heavy kettle with apple, seasonings, onion and 2 cups of water. Peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves should be placed in a cheese cloth bag, tied at the top to secure, so that they can easily be removed before serving. Simmer, covered one hour. Add butter, vinegar and sugar and simmer one hour longer. At this time I leave the lid just barely ajar to make sure the water evaporates. Add more water if cabbage becomes too dry, but no more than 1/2 cup at a time. Ad end of cooking time liquid should be entirely absorbed.
Braised Red Cabbage … It’s what’s for a German Side Dish.