Red Cabbage Recipe

A braised red cabbage recipe is a simple way to add this nutritious vegetable to your diet without a lot of fuss. It does take a little while to cook the cabbage to soft perfection, so start about an hour and half before dinner. Once it's on the burner though, it pretty well takes care of itself.

For those of you looking for a something a little different, have a look at cabbage casserole.

The Cooking of Alsace Lorraine

This red cabbage recipe comes from the Alsace Lorraine region in the east of France. The cuisine from this part of France is generally unfussy, and strongly influenced by eastern European cooking traditions, particularly German. Meals are solid, generous affairs and usually accompanied by ample wine and beer. I think you need to work in a field all day long to fully appreciate the bounty that appears on the Alsacien table. However, even more sedentary folks can appreciate the cooking if eaten in moderation.

shredded cabbage red cabbage ready to cook

Cabbage Serving Suggestions

Braised cabbage and apples are a classic accompaniment to roast pork, but this red cabbage recipe goes well with many things, including poultry and game meats. Or try serving it with brown rice and topped with roasted chestnuts for a vegetarian meal.

Braised Red Cabbage
Chou rouge braisé

Prep time: 15 min - Cook time: 95 min
  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chicken bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 apples, diced

Cut the cabbage in four and then cut out the stem. Chop the cabbage finely or use a food processor to shred it.

In a large solid pot (the original French recipe says this is best done in a cast iron pot), melt the butter. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Poke the onion with the two cloves and add it to the pot along with the red wine and bouillon. Stir in the sugar and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook covered for 1 h 15 min on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little more wine if needed.

Add the apple to the cabbage and cook 15 minutes more. Season to taste. Aim for a good equilibrium between the sweet, salty and acidic flavors of this dish.

Makes 8 servings or more depending on the size of the cabbage.

Variations:

  • For a more acidic flavor you can substitute red wine vinegar for part or all of the wine, and don't hesitate to use that opened bottle of wine that's gone a bit off. It would be perfect for this dish.
  • For a more substantial dish, fry six ounces of bacon in the butter before you add the cabbage or try adding canned cooked chestnuts to the cabbage and apples at the end of the cooking.
  • Try adding other spices and flavors: a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, orange zest, or 1/3 cup raisins would all work well.
  • Feel free to try this recipe with green cabbage and white wine. It will work just as well.
  • Many people enjoy a sprinkle of cassonade, or raw sugar, on top of their braised cabbage for a slightly sweeter dish. You could serve the cabbage with a small bowl of sugar at the table.

Leftovers:

Store in refrigerator and microwave to rewarm the next day. Since one cabbage tends to make a lot you're bound to have leftovers. This is a good deal, because you won't have to think about what vegetable to serve with your next meal!

Learn more about cabbage types, nutrition, and some cooking tips.

Go from red cabbage recipe to easy vegetable recipes.

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