Braised Red Cabbage
Okay, seriously, you’re probably like “ew, braised red cabbage sounds lame, who wants to eat cabbage on a holiday?!” Well, you’re wrong. This is actually one of my favorite side dishes of any holiday meal. It’s surprisingly sweet and tangy at the same time. The brightness of the dish adds some much needed color to an otherwise bland looking holiday meal. White turkey, white potatoes, white stuffing, get some color up in the mix!
This dish has been part of my holiday meals since as long as I can remember. The recipe has had a few iterations over the years but we settled on this particular mix more than a few years ago. There are a few interesting, maybe hard to find, ingredients in this recipe. Do not be dissuaded. You can buy them online. Juniper berries are those little berries on juniper/pine trees. They are not tasty on their own. I would not recommend eating them right off the bush or right from the container where they have been dried unless you enjoy an intense tree taste. But when you add a few of them into this dish they give it a holiday flavor that’s undeniable.
Braised Red Cabbage is traditionally a German dish. I do not know if I am German. Growing up I was simply Canadian with some Irish roots and that’s about all I know about that. I am really interested in doing a DNA genealogy test like 23 and Me to see what I’m really made of. Have you seen those videos where people who are super nationalist find out that they are really a mix of many things? I think it’s really interesting and believe that if everyone knew that country lines were imaginary and we’re all a part of the same human race, there would be a lot less fighting.
In that spirit of love and openness, let’s celebrate with a table full of delicious food for friends and family to enjoy (and lets curb the political talk from the table please, we all know that gets heated). This Braised Red Cabbage will be the perfect side dish for your holiday meal no matter your background or nationality. You don’t have to be German to enjoy this delicious dish.
- Half a head of red cabbage
- 1 Red onion, diced
- 1 Granny Smith (or otherwise tart) apple, peeled and chopped
- 3 tbsp Red currant jelly
- 1 tbsp Butter
- 6 oz (just under a cup) Chicken stock
- 3 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- Bay leaf
- 8-9 crunched dried juniper berries
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar
- 1 cup Red wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the outer layer of the cabbage and chop in half, remove and throw away the dense white core. Chop the remaining cabbage and set aside.
- In a medium, oven-safe pot, add 1 tbsp of butter. One melted add the diced red onion and sauté until starting to become translucent. Add the peeled and chopped apple, mix with a wood spoon and cook for about 5 minutes to soften the apple.
- Add the chopped cabbage, mix to combine then add chicken stock, red currant jelly, red wine vinegar, dried juniper berries and red wine. Bring to a boil, cover and place in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
- When you remove it from the oven taste and add salt, pepper and additional brown sugar if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days before reheating. This dish also freezes very well for longer storage.
She ain’t pretty in the pot but I think we can all agree once she’s on the plate she shines. If you’ve never had this before it’s a must try and the you must let me know in the comments below what you think.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!