As Oktoberfest comes to a close, did you get a chance to eat some good German food? Or was it only about the beer? We understand if it’s all about the beer since after all, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer celebration.
The good thing is that German food keeps on coming, before and after Oktoberfest. We absolutely love German red cabbage, or if you want to call it braised red cabbage. We make it for football games, at holiday gatherings, and whenever we want it!
It’s perfect with your favorite brats or sausage, or our favorite, Beyond Sausage!
In Germany, you’ll find that German red cabbage goes by several names, such as Rotkohl, Rotkraut, and Blaukraut, depending on what region in the country you’re in.
Ingredients and spices vary and may include juniper berries, caraway seeds, fennel, nutmeg, bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, dill, red currant jelly or cherry preserves, bacon, whole grain mustard, apple cider or unsweetened apple juice.
We’re sharing our favorite German red cabbage. Writing down this recipe took some doing. You see, Joel cooks without recipes. He just starts cooking. I get it. Cooking does not have to be exact. It’s carefree and creative.
When I ask how much of an ingredient he is using, he gives a guesstimate. To take out the guesswork, I hung out and measured all of the ingredients while Joel was making this dish.
How to Braise Red Cabbage
- Cut the cabbage in half and then quarters, removing the white core. Then cut in equal thin shreds for even cooking, about 1/4″ wide. This can also be done on a mandolin.
- Cook in a large Dutch oven.
- If using bacon, dice and cook 4 ounces of thick bacon until it has rendered most of its fat. Add onions and cook until golden. We prefer sweet onions, but red onions will work just as well.
- Add cabbage, apples, vegetable broth, sugar, fennel, thyme, and salt. Cover and simmer until cabbage is wilted, about 40 minutes, stirring often.
- Add apple cider vinegar, a little more sugar, and raisins. Cover and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until desired texture is reached.
- Be sure to stay close and stir occasionally to make sure the liquid doesn’t completely evaporate. Add water or additional vegetable broth if needed.
- Some like their braised cabbage very soft, and some like a bit more of a bite. Make sure to taste test after 50 minutes of cooking and then every 5 minutes or so.
For a holiday side, add 1/4 cup fresh cranberries with the onions to sauté.
German red cabbage is a must-have with any German dish.
German Red Cabbage
Yield 6-8 Servings
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
A must-have with any German dish!
1 medium red cabbage, about 2 pounds (10 cups shredded)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup diced yellow or white onions
1/8 tsp plus 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 1/2 cups diced granny smith apple (1 large apple)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 tbsp light brown sugar, divided (2 tbsp + 2 tbsp)
1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup dark raisins
- Rinse the cabbage and remove the tough outer leaves so only clean, compact leaves remain. Cut the very bottom of the stem off to flatten the bottom of the cabbage. Turn the cabbage so the stem is flat against the cutting board. Cut the cabbage in half from top to bottom. Cut the halves in half to yield quarters. Remove the stem and touch core from each wedge by cutting on a diagonal to remove the solid parts.
- Laying the cabbage quarter on a flat side, use a knife or mandolin to cut into 1/4-inch shreds. Place the shreds in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Drain and spin dry in a salad spinner. Set aside.
- Heat a large Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add onions and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes until softened and lightly caramelized, stirring occasionally.
- Add drained cabbage, apples, vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, fennel, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer until wilted, about 40 minutes, stirring often. The cabbage will shrink as it cooks.
- Add vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and raisins. Cover and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until desired texture is reached. Some like their braised cabbage very soft, and some like a bit more of a bite. Make sure to taste test after 50 minutes and then every 5 minutes or so.
- Make it a meal with your favorite brats or sausage!
- Using thick bacon is optional. Dice and cook 4 ounces of bacon until it has rendered most of its fat. Add onions and cook until golden. We prefer sweet onions, but red onions will work just as well.
Courses Veggies & Sides