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Bought some red cabbage - now help me please!

Will be having some friends over for small dinner party Fri evening. Planning to serve pickled cucumber salad, "baked" steak (sirloin roast w/ onion/tomato/lemon sauce), and potato/swiss cheese gratin. Want to use the cabbage as vegetable. Perhaps with apples? Have some Golden Delicious on hand. Will be serving apple/cheese/almond tart for dessert. Any ideas? Thanks!

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  1. Braise it with some vinegar, sugar (or honey etc) and golden raisins. Maybe throw in some chopped walnuts too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      caraway seeds work well with braised cabbage too.

    2. Yes, braise it. And definitely make it a day ahead, b/c it is much better the next day, like most cabbage dishes.

      Personally, I'm non too crazy about a lot of sweetness in that dish, so I'd go easy on the sugar or honey or raisins. Unless, of course, you like it that way.

      In any event, start off with sweating some grated onion and a nice tart apple in lard or bacon fat. Add cabbage. Maybe throw in a clove or two.

      1 Reply
      1. re: linguafood

        i'm with you linguafood, i like it more sour than sweet. unsweetened dried cranberries or tart cherries can be a good alternative to raisins for that reason.

      2. This recipe is a favorite of mine- and it can be made earlier in the day and reheated. Basically, it's a sweet/sour red cabbage with apples and onions.

        Sautee a thinly sliced red onion in a little oil until translucent and browned around the edges. Add in a peeled, thinly sliced apple and cook till soft.
        Thinly slice a head of red cabbage and add to the onion/apple mixture. When the cabbage starts to wilt, add in a big splash of apple cider vinegar and about 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Season with lots of salt and white pepper.

        Let the mixture cook till the cabbage is soft - I like it really soft so I cook for about 45 minutes-1 hour. The cabbage turns blue-ish, so to get it back to a bright purple color, add another splash of vinegar at the end of cooking.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cheesecake17

          This looks like rotkohl, one of my favorites:
          A great example of how sweet and sour tastes belong together. Also, if you go with a 'tart only' recipe it would be too much like the OP's pickled cucumber salad.

          1. re: DiveFan

            Yes, very similar, but I don't use bacon or any meat in mine. I love anything sweet and sour!

            1. re: DiveFan

              Funny, I thought we had been talking rotkohl the whole time... then again, I'm German '-D

          2. Personally, I don't like serving a meal with repetitive ingredients unless the meal has a theme or if you're using the same ingredients as in a mirepoix. The apples in the cabbage & then an apple tart for me would be too much. I'd leave out the apple in the cabbage & render down some chopped bacon & cook the cabbage in the grease with some onions, a bit of brown sugar, lots of freshly ground black pepper....maybe some balsamic vinegar then add the bacon back at the end.

            1 Reply
            1. A slow braise is what everyone always suggests for red cabbage and I can see why. It's easy and pretty versatile (it often appears on our Christmas Day lunch table, done with cranberry instead of apple).

              But I also like it, using pretty much the same flavourings, done as a quick stirfry as this recipe:

              My only comment is that, whatever you do, it would come out much better if you'd had a more flavoursome apple than Golden Delicious, which is not a variety I would ever buy these days.

              I'm not sure I would serve the tart. You're already intending a lot of sharp flavours - the cucumber salad, the lemon in the sauce, the apples in the cabbage -

              1. I did not have a chance to fix the cabbage last night, so will have to start at 4 p.m. for dinner tonight. Bacon grease is not an option. Will sweat some onion and the cabbage in EVOO and braise in liquid of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, s&p. Have both white and black pepper, why white pepper and not black? Have some dried cranberries (or are those dried cherries) in the pantry, will use those instead of apples. I like the cabbage pretty soft, so probably 45 min. Thanks!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  If you can't use bacon grease, I'd opt for a less intense oil than olive.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I concur about the more neutral oil, and Harter's comment that there is allready enough tart on the table. At our danish holiday meals the red cabbage had red wine instead of vinegar, and enough brown sugar to add a noticeable sweetness, and it was all vegetarian. We had enough tart with the creamed onions and parsnips. Along with the peas and mushrooms, the cabbage added a nice extra color to the whole plate.

                2. Dinner was a huge hit on Friday. We had some Russian friends in for dinner who fell so much in love with the red cabbage, they asked to take home the leftovers!