This recipe comes from Dr Oetker’s German Cooking Today, with a few little tweaks by me. I don’t know how to describe it, because to me it’s the thing you do with red cabbage. (Apparently, there is no other thing you do with red cabbage) It’s sweet, very tangy from the vinegar, and goes really well with rich things like veal sausages or duck or, of course, frankfurters. To me, it feels almost like a pickle or a chutney – it has that sort of condimenty nature.
Your Shopping List800g red cabbage (one small red cabbage) 3 nice apples – I would use eating apples like sundowners or maybe pink lady or jonathon) 2 onions 50g butter 2 bay leaves 5 cloves salt pepper 2 tsp brown sugar 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 3 tbsp redcurrant jelly 125ml water
Now what will you do with it?
Peel off the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it in quarters, and remove the core (but ideally not your fingers). Cut the cabbage into fine strips.
Chop the onion, and peel, quarter and dice the apples. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and sautée the onion until soft. Add the cabbage and apples and continue to sautée. You may have to add the cabbage a bit at a time, because the sad fact of this recipe is that a saucepan large enough to fit everything uncooked makes it all look rather scant once cooked.
Once the apples and cabbages are beginning to soften a little, add all the other ingredients and stir well. Make sure the liquid is simmering, then turn down the heat to low, and cook slowly for about an hour and a half until everything is soft and the liquid has reduced a bit. You should probably stir it occasionally, but you can wander off and leave it unattended for a fair while unless you think the liquid is getting low (in which case, pop the lid on to retain it). Taste at the end, because it may need more salt or more sugar.
This makes a lot of red cabbage, but it does keep well in the freezer and also in the fridge, because of all the sugar and vinegar.
Serve with a roast, or, if you are me, with mashed potatoes, garlicky green beans, sausages and mustard. Perfect on a winter’s night, and such a colourful plate!