The moment I start cooking with red cabbage then I know it’s time to put the heating on and don a heavy sweater. Braised red cabbage is a warming filling Winter food. And during cooking it fills the house with its sweet and pungent aroma. I prefer red to white cabbage – except for in Summer ‘slaws…
I’ve not yet tried a Borscht soup (anyone got a recipe?), but that’s on my ‘to do’ list for this Winter.
In our family we were introduced to braised cabbage by Gerda, a friend of the family, a German transplant who moved to London as a teen to au pair and never went back to her homeland. During the 70s when we thought an avocado or frozen black forest gateau was an exotic food, can you imagine the impact Gerda had on her circle of friends? The food may be commonplace now (various krauts, sour cream and cucumber side dishes, veal escalope and so on) but it wasn’t then!
This is my adapted version of her recipe. Being German, she loved her pickles and would braise the red cabbage in cider vinegar which gives it quite a bite. Being a British transplant, now living in Philly, I’ve gone for a more anemic version — one which uses kid-friendly Motts apple juice in lieu of the vinegar. This combination produces a less-pickly version that is still packed with chunks of apple, caramelized onions and smoked bacon…ooooh and plenty of garlic.
This side dish is the perfect accompaniment to any roast meat or works equally well eaten cold in a roast meat sandwich with salad greens. It just cries out for meat in any form…
This is one of those recipes you can prep in 15 minutes, then dump into a slow cooker and forget about it for the rest of the afternoon.
1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic, more if you’d like it to be super flavorsome
1 small red cabbage, sliced finely
2 eating apples
2 slices of bacon
¼ stick of butter
1 tbsp of oil
2 cups of apple juice
Salt and pepper to taste
- Dice onions and apples and chop garlic cloves finely, dice bacon, sauté all ingredients in a pan with oil and butter
- Add chopped cabbage and sweat down for 10-15 minutes
- Season to taste
- Transfer cabbage conconction to a slow cooker; set to high and cook for 2-3 hours until cabbage has softened and absorbed much of the liquids
It’s that simple