Rot Kohl (Red Cabbage) is a simple dish with complex flavors. Rot Kohl is a popular side dish in many German and Swiss households and restaurants served alongside roast pork. It is sweet, sour and warm and it goes so well with any roast. I remember the first time I learned to appreciate this dish. My mom and I went down the gravel road to the neighbors from which we bought milk. When I say ‘neighbor’ I mean anyone that is within a 3 mile radius from the farm! And when I say we ‘bought’ milk, I don’t mean a cutesy store front in the middle of no where. I mean we bought milk form a dairy farm. Every third day, we’d drive to the neighbor’s farm and brought along an empty ice cream bucket (1 gallon) and placed it under the milk tank and fill it with milk. Best milk ever. Back to the rot kohl. The lovely lady who cooked the meal for us, was born in Canada and since she married a Swiss man, learned a lot about German and Swiss cooking as well as the language! Anyway, she had prepared a lovely lunch just for us ladies (I was probably 8 years old at the time) and I remember the rot kohl she made. It was delicious! Obviously it was super delicious because to this day, I still remember the dish! I am sure she made spaetzli and sauerbraten too, but it was all about the rot kohl for me…I don’t know how close my recipe resembles the neighbors recipe, but I do know her recipe inspired me to develop this one!
After you’ve washed the head of red cabbage, using a sharp knife, slice it in half. You’ll then cut out the core and cut thin ribbons of cabbage, about 1/4-1/8″ thick.
The combination of the ingredients just bring out the best in the red cabbage, I think! I mean, what could go wrong when you cook with red wine?
Once you’ve sliced the red cabbage, place it in a bowl and set aside. Using either melted butter or olive oil, sauté the onions and apples for a few minutes.
Add the cabbage and immediately pour red wine vinegar over the cabbage, to help it retain its glorious color! You’ll add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, cover and braise over low heat. Low and slow is the way to go here.
At the end of the process, you are left with a lovely side dish that is nutritious and incredibly tasty! Enjoy!
- 1.5-2 pounds (1 kilogram) red cabbage, cut into ⅛" strips
- 3 tablespoons (35 grams) butter or oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled, julienned
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup (200 milliliters) red wine
- ¼ cup (50 milliliters) water
- 3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash head of cabbage and cut in half lengthwise. Cut a v-shaped notch around the white core and discard it. Now cutting crosswise, slice ¼-1/8" pieces and place in bow and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan melt butter or oil over medium heat.
- Stir in onions, apples and sugar. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add cabbage and immediately pour 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar over the cabbage, stirring to coat. The vinegar helps maintain the gorgeous red color of the cabbage.
- Stir in ½ cup red wine, water, cloves, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Add about ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and cover.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 45-60 minutes. Be sure not to leave it alone too long: the cabbage will burn if left unattended for too long. Take it from me. So I suggest to stir every 15 minutes or so.
- Once the cabbage is tender, add the remaining vinegar and wine, lemon juice and flour. Stir to combine.
- Transfer immediately to serving dish, garnish with fresh parsely and serve with pork roast, spätzli or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!