This post was inspired by the Sobeys West Tastes of the World contest. Sobeys West is giving away six incredible all-inclusive foodie vacations, to Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Cancun or Bangkok. Find out more about the Sobeys West Tastes of the World Contest.
For family gatherings, my half German, half Polish husband begs me to prepare his family favourites. Rouladen, perogies, spaetzle – they’re delicious and decadent and delightful to eat – and total drudgery to prepare. It’s rare that I’m willing to spend the entire day in the kitchen preparing three dishes that are consumed in a tiny fraction of the time it took to prepare them. Once or twice a year and that’s it.
However, one dish he asks for on occasion that I’m more than happy to prepare is German purple cabbage. This steamed red cabbage dish is very flavourful and super simple to make.
Using a mandolin slicer for the cabbage, onions and apples makes the prep for this recipe super efficient. Take it from someone who has learned the hard way (and more than once unfortunately) that when using a very sharp mandolin you should not watch television, talk to your kids or husband, or generally have your attention on anything but the SUPER SHARP MANDOLIN. For reals.
Remember how your mom used to keep a mug of bacon fat by the stove and for awhile there you thought that was so unhealthy and disgusting and now you’re all over that yummy bacon fat? Yeah, that. Cook up some bacon if you don’t have that mug of solid fat available, or use lard or olive oil depending on your preference, and soften the onion and apple in it on medium for a couple of minutes.
Toss everything in a pot, slam on the lid and cook on medium low for about an hour to two hours, depending on if you want your cabbage to be a bit firm still or super soft. This is fantastic on its own, and divine smothered in turkey gravy.
German Purple Cabbage
2.5 pounds red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon salt 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped or thinly sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks or thinly sliced
4 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons sugar
Cut cabbage into quarters and cut out the hard stalk. Slice into thin strips, put into a bowl and toss with salt.
Add bacon fat to a pot and melt at medium heat. Add onions and apples and lightly steam. Add vinegar, stock and sugar. Add cabbage and reduce temperature to medium low and let cook for at least an hour, stirring occassionally, until cabbage is cooked through and very tender.