Recipes from the Grapevine Cottage

Recipes --> Side Dishes --> Rotkohl - Braised Red Cabbage

Rotkohl - Braised Red Cabbage

Whether or not you celebrate Oktoberfest, it's a wonderful time to enjoy some German cuisine. One of our perennial favorites is Rotkohl, or braised red cabbage. This version is simple to make, best if made ahead, and freezes well. We enjoy this with many cuts of pork, including bratwurst, schnitzel, or grilled chops, as shown here. Duck would also be a good choice. The Maximin Grunhauser Riesling Monopole 2018 was a delicious pairing. And you can see Jim's video review of the Monopole in wine reviews.... Guten Appetit! Jim

Serves 6 - 8


4 medium slices smoked bacon, cut across the short edge into thin strips.
2 1/2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 1/2 bay leaves, or 3 small ones
1 teaspoon salt
3 pounds red cabbage (about 1 lg head) cored and thinly sliced, about 1/4-inch
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into bit-sized pieces
2 cups chicken stock/broth
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar


In large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until pieces are crisp. Add onions, cinnamon, bay leaves, and salt and mix to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high, add cabbage, and cook until wilted. Add apples, stock, wine vinegar, sugar, and black pepper. Adjust heat to medium and cook until cabbage is tender, about 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Keep an eye on the liquid, you don't want it to cook dry. If needed, add 1/2 cup more stock/broth.

Once cabbage is ready, if too much liquid remains, increase heat and bring to a boil for no more than 5 minutes. 

Remove from heat and let sit for at least an hour for flavors to meld. It's fine at this point but much better if you can wait at least an hour, better if you wait a few hours, or even a full day. When ready to serve, reheat gently and place in warmed bowl or rimmed platter.