Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Can you say Rotkohl?  Go ahead, just try, let it roll off your tongue.  You’ll want to once you’ve tried Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage, which is traditionally made with a trio of apple—cider, cider vinegar, and ample chunks of apple, contributes sweet-tart goodness to this Germanic dish.

It’s a simple, straightforward celebration of fall.  Not only is it delicious, it adds so much burnished color to a festive dinner plate.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Our nod to Oktoberfest, (I know, in Germany it’s all about beer), and in Idaho, we celebrate potato harvest. When we lived in Eastern Idaho, for two weeks our children were out of school while amazing amounts of spuds were dug and hauled into huge potato cellars.  I helped Santa by driving a potato truck for many of those harvests and still crave the smell of potato dirt this time of year!

So when I make German Potato Salad I always make Rotkohl, Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage because they just go so well together.  I’ve found that the flavor improves with time, so I often make it ahead and let it sit in the refrigerator for a day of two.  Simply reheat, using care not to cook it more, when you are ready to serve it.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Here’s how to make it:   Start by chopping the onion, then core and chop the cabbage.  Core and slice the apples too.  I used Granny Smith apples, but Fuji and Gala are also very good for this purpose.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

In a 5-1/2 quart heavy Dutch Oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir until it is wilted, 5-7 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cloves, vinegar, cider, apples, salt, and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the cabbage is very tender, about 45 minutes.

Add the sugar, wine, and red currant jelly and simmer on low for 20 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaf and cloves and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Serve hot.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

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Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A trio of apple—cider, cider vinegar, and ample chunks of apple— contributes sweet-tart goodness to this Germanic dish. Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage is a simple, straightforward celebration of fall.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (2-1/2 pound) red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • 4 tart cooking apples, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 3 Tablespoons red currant jelly
Instructions
  1. In a 5 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir until it is wilted, 5-7 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cloves, vinegar, cider, apples, salt, and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the cabbage is very tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, wine, and red currant jelly and simmer on low for 20 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaf and cloves and transfer to a warmed serving bowl. Serve hot.
Notes
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage is a great make ahead side dish. The flavor improves as it sits in the refrigerator. You can make it a day or two ahead, bring it to room temperature, gently reheat it, (careful not to cook more) and serve.

Do you celebrate Octoberfest in your neck of the woods?  I hope you are enjoying a dazzling month filled with golden leaves and fun festivities.  Please share your traditions below and pin, pin, pin!

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

About The Author

Renée

Renée is passionate about making and sharing ALL things delicious! Her happy place really is her kitchen where she loves whipping up memories with her family and friends. Raised in sunny Southern California she's spent her adulthood in Idaho, both sides of her great state. She's married to an amazing man, and together they have 5 children, who gave them five more, and now they have 28 grandchildren. So there’s always a reason to cook and celebrate around their place!

4 Comments

  1. Susan

    I love cabbage in almost all preparations but red cabbage is certainly the beauty queen of the family 🙂 This sounds delicious!

    Reply
    • Renée

      “Queen Cabbage,” she most definitely is, giving colorful life to anything she’s added too! Thanks Susan.

      Reply
  2. Amy Scott

    I came here looking for sides but my love of red cabbage attracted me to this post and to find an ode to Germany (where I once lived) was a bigger bonus! Around Oktoberfest season I always do a mini fest one evening and invite friends over! Great recipe 🙂

    Reply
    • Renée

      Awesome Amy, we need to share a German salad soon just for you!

      Reply

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