Sunday, 9 December 2012

Red Cabbage

As the festive season is upon us, there is a traditional German side dish to roasts that I'd like to share.
It is Red Cabbage (in German Blaukraut or Rotkohl).

It is NOT to be confused with Sauerkraut, which is actually quite tricky to do yourself (some might so totally impractical).
Although, you can buy Red Cabbage ready made from Delicatessen stores, it is relatively easy to make yourself.

What you need

For the marinade
  • whole Red Cabbage
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Apple
  • Raisins
  • Sugar, salt
For the cooking
  • Cloves (2), All Spice grains (4-5), juniper berries (4-5), peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion
  • goose fat
Equipment: a container for storing the marinated red cabbage in; pot to cook it in; pestle & mortar for grating the spices

How you do it

Red cabbage is best if it is marinated at least 1 day before serving. I would recommend to start preparing it 2 days before the dinner.
  • remove the outer leaves from the whole red cabbage
  • cut the piece into quarters. Remove the stem.
  • wash the rest
  • cut each quarter so that you end up with thin, small pieces of cabbage
  • put all of the cut red cabbage into the container.
  • next, peel the apple. Then cut it into quarters, remove the seeds/core. cut into small pieces and add to the cut red cabbage in the container.
  • take 2 tablespoons of raisins and add to the red cabbage/apple in the container
  • take a small cup and put 1 tablespoon of sugar, a pinch of salt and at 4-5 table spoons or red wine vinegar. Mix thoroughly.
  • pour the mix over the cabbage/apple/raisins mix in the container. Mix thoroughly.
  • take a small glass of red wine and pour over the cabbage in the container. Mix thoroughly.
  • Close the container, and store away in the fridge for 2 days.
Cooking the red cabbage. You may do this on the day. However, once you cooked the red cabbage it can be reheated. This may actually add to the flavour. So, if it is all getting far too much. You may cook the red cabbage even the day before dinner - and then simply reheat it.

  • put 2 table spoons of goose fat into the pot
  • get the marinated red cabbage container out of the fridge
  • peel and cut the onion into small pieces
  • heat the pot. When hot, add the onions to the hot fat. Stir and cook until the onions start getting sauteed (looking "glassy") 
  • add all of the red cabbage/apple/raisins mix (with the marinade) into the pot and stir/mix thoroughly.
  • next take the juniper berries/all spice berries/cloves and peppercorns and grind in the pestle/mortar.
  • add the ground spices into the pot with the cabbage.
  • put the lid on the pot and cook on a small heat for 40-50 min. 
  • In between the cooking add small amounts of red wine to it (1-2 tablespoons at the time). Mix and stir when doing so.
  • After 40-50 min the red cabbage should be soft and ready to serve.

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