Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Braised Red Cabbage

We may be nearing the end of October, but its never too late to enjoy a German classic in celebration of Oktoberfest. I may be a bit behind the curve with this one, as the classic Bavarian festival traditionally takes place in late September, but those in the know know I like to get my wurst on from time to time.

I've never been a huge fan of sauerkraut, especially of the pre-packaged variety, so I opted to pair some lovely little bratwursts with a traditional Bavarian side: braised red cabbage. This gorgeous dish makes a fine bed, and wonderful foil, for the savory links. It has just enough acid to balance the porky goodness and just enough crunch to keep things interesting.

Braised Red Cabbage:
  • 1 small head of red cabbage
  • red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of thinly sliced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups non-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar, agave nectar)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and studded with 3 whole cloves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of Bavarian Seasoning, optional
  • small pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
1. Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters, and remove the core from all sections. Using a very sharp knife, slice the cabbage into thin shreds, one quarter at a time. As soon as each section is sliced, place the shreds in a large bowl and drizzle with a bit of red wine vinegar, tossing to lightly coat. This will help preserve the vibrant color. Repeat until all cabbage is sliced and tossed with vinegar.

2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed, saucepan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When hot, but not smoking, add the cabbage and toss with tongs to coat. Continue tossing gently until the cabbage begins to wilt a bit, about 2 to 3 minutes, then add the apples and sliced onions and saute together for 1 minute.

3. Nestle the clove studded onion into the mixture and add the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with the salt, pepper, Bavarian Seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to come to the boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Taste the cabbage at the 30 minute mark. Adjust seasoning if necessary, adding more of whatever you wish. I happen to prefer a bit of crunch here, so I generally don't simmer beyond 30 minutes. If you prefer a softer texture, continue simmering for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until your desired texture is achieved.

As written, this recipe will serve 4 to 6, depending on portion size.



Ben said...

LOVE braised cabbage. I usually do the sear/saute in duck fat, tho. And those wursts are reminding me that I haven't eaten yet. :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Ben - the wursts would make a fine breakfast too ... though I might skip the cabbage in that case! Duck fat, you say? Papa Diva would be *all* over that! :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

I've never cooked with cabbage, but I love this dish because of its beautiful deep colour.
*kisses* HH

Laura said...

Oh yeah this is right up my alley! simple beautiful and delish. God I love red cabbage :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

HH - thanks! I love the color too. I'd even say its ... Divalicous! ;)

Laura - me too! Love, love red cabbage. And, bonus, its quick and easy. We're using the leftover for turkey rubens tomorrow night. Yum!

MM said...

All I can think of is the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie looks in the pot and says with a wrinkled up nose, "Red cabbage?" His mom says, "You loooove red cabbage, Ralphie."

A friend of mine adds apples to his red cabbage too. Apparently this is common? I'd never heard of such a thing, but it's good!

Happy Oktoberfest!

The Diva on a Diet said...

MM - funny! Ya know, I think red cabbage, and all cabbage in general, gets a bad wrap. And, in most cases, its because it hasn't been cooked well or properly. For the longest time, I thought I didn't like it ... until I cooked it myself! Anyway, love that movie!

I do think its fairly common to add apples to this dish. I couldn't help myself, because the apples are sooo good this year. The spices I added, however, are not common. That's a personal twist. :)

Mo Diva said...

I like the rules that you live by!!!
this looks all kinds of awesome.
I need to get into oktoberfest... (what the hell am i waiting for?!?!)i am thirsty!

Christina said...

I've never braised cabbage before! But this looks so freaking good, I love German food!

Re: the Top Chef frozen meal - I definitely think you're right about making it myself! My cousin got me the Top Chef cookbook, so I'll need to see if any of Kevin's dishes are in there! :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo - you crack me up! I like that you're always thirsty too! ;)

Christina - I love German food too! Its so under-rated. If you do make the cabbage, just know that it would be a great side for any roast pork dish, or pot roast, sauerbraten, basically good with any comfort-food main course. And its easy too!

Re: the Top Chef meal, you can totally recreate it and it will so much better. Plus, it would make for a great post ... hope you do it! :)

Donna-FFW said...

My hubby would adore this dish.. red cabbage is one of his favorites. GREAT pairing for sure..

Porky goodness.. like that.

Molly said...

do your fingers turn purple when you cut up the cabbage? that's the only drawback to when I make it, but I love cooked cabbage. I've gone so far as to sautee prepackaged cole slaw mix and eat it as a snack.

pixlgal said...

Love this recipe, Diva dear. I think adding apples is the bomb! I'll be sure to try it sooon. Besides, cabbage is big in Hungary too. And so good for you. Thanks, kiddo!


Allison said...

This looks awesome. So pretty, in addition to being yummy!

I have started a new food blogging group that celebrates the printed cookbook. I'd love it if you joined us. It should be lots of fun.

Thank you for the recipe!

The Enchanted Cook said...

That looks sooooo good!

Lentil Breakdown said...

This is taking me back to Eastern Europe when I fell in love with their cabbage. I even have all the ingredients (except the Penzey's mixture, but I can fake it). I have been meaning to try this for three years. Thanks for the inspiration!

The Duo Dishes said...

Someone mentioned braising the cabbage in duck fat, and that sounded awesome. Either way, this looks like something to try. Cabbage is a popular dish for some of our separate family members, so they might like to eat it in a different way.

Lisa said...

Diva! Long time no speakies!! As you might have seen on my blog, I looooove all kinds of cabbage and this recipe is no exception' Love Ben's suggestion above of sauteeing the cabbage in duck fat! YUM!

Anonymous said...

Exactly what we had for dinner tonight plus spaetzle! I love your recipe with the addition of apple!

Faith said...

Love your cabbage recipe. I've been looking to cook cabbage for a while now and this is what I need to make soon :) I love the colo. It looks divine.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Donna - hope he likes it!

Molly - LOL! No, my fingers don't turn purple, but my cutting board sure does! Need to be careful with the Corian on my countertops too ... red cabbage stains!

pixelgal - I know you already make a mean red cabbage. Remember the time you did that sauerbraten? Yum!

Allison - hello, and welcome to Beach Eats! I'm a huge cookbook love, so I will definitely check you out. Thanks so much for the invite! :)

Enchanted Cook - thank you! :)

Lentil Breakdown - you can totally fake the seasoning blend, its really just a convenience I happen to have. Enjoy it!

Duo - funny, cabbage is definitely a love or hate thing. And if you're in the love camp, it is good to have variety. Thanks!

Lisa - great to "see" you again too. I did see the gorgeous stuffed cabbage on your blog. It look exquisite! Yum!

5 Star - OMG, I should have done the spaetzle too! I love it sooo much!

Faith - I hope you enjoy this recipe. Its so simple and very satisfying. A perfect side for so many dishes. Thanks! :)

Susan: My Food Obsession said...

Your braised red cabbage looks delicious! I have never made it before but it makes a good side dish and it looks great on the plate. I get so sick of seeing green all the time :) LOL!

Sophie said...

Your braised red cabbage looks delightful. I recently made gingered braised red cabbage with apples & cinnamon. I must try your version soon!

kisses from Brussels to you!

Lael Hazan @educatedpalate said...

Sometimes I forget that cabbage is so versatile! Thank you for reminding me. What a fun post! Now I have to find some wurst to go with it!

daphne said...

Although I have never tasted either one, I'd love to try making them. They look wonderful. Cabbage, I like cabbage. I want it half cook=)

Daily Spud said...

Ah Diva, how I adore the combination of red cabbage, apple and vinegar - I certainly don't need the excuse of Oktoberfest to enjoy it!

SSI said...

I have recently become a fan of braised cabbage. A few weeks back I had it served as a side dish in a restaurant. It was a little sweet and they topped it with goat cheese - it was heavenly. Your dish is making me hungry!

Basic Meatloaf Recipe said...

Awesome post! It's really helpful for me..
Thanks a lot for sharing.

The Vintage Kitten said...

Braised Cabbage, Ive never tried that before. I dont eat cabbage except Savoy Cabbage and a recent discovery that I like is Pickled Red Cabbage. Your recipe sounds divine X

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