It's almost tax time, so we were on a Skype call this past week with our German friends, Harald and his wife Inge. We help Harold negotiate the finance world of US banks and tax law sometimes. Anyway, in making small talk about late winter and what everyone has been doing and eating during COVID lockdowns, the topic of schnitzel and veggies came up. One thing lead to another and by the time I began planning for dinner, pork medallions and red cabbage became my targeted ingredients. Hiel and I really miss the German fare that we had when we would meet friends at the local restaurants in Baden -Württemberg. Between missing our friends and missing the German culture, I was back to the schnitzel and sides.
So here we have a spin on Ralphie's "A Christmas Story' stewed cabbage. It's jazzed up with some good herbs and a dose of hard cider and apples. It's a really delish side ... don't be intimidated by the movie stereotype of that huge pot of gelatinous cabbage bubbling on the stove. This is a faster version that has great flavour.
We have used leftovers on sandwiches with sliced pork or sliced chicken, by the way. It's a pretty tasty alternative to mayo or mustard.
Here's how you do it ...
Braised Red Cabbage and Apples
1/2 medium red cabbage, finely sliced to make about 8 c. of prepped veg
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 shallot, chopped
3 sprigs thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
2 red cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2/3 c. hard apple cider
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. juniper berries and 10 pepper corns, tied up in a cheesecloth bundle
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Making the Dish:
1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy stovetop braising pan over medium heat.
2. Add the shallots, thyme, and bay leaf and sweat things for 2 -3 minutes.
3. Add the prepped cabbage and toss to begin softening for 5 minutes.
4. Add the apples, spice pouch, brown sugar, vinegar, and cider. Toss to combine the apples and cabbage.
5. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and stir occasionally over the coarse of 45 minutes to an hour.
6. Remove the spice pouch and the bay leaf. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Place the cabbage in a pretty casserole, garnish with parsley and serve with a pork roast, schnitzels of pork or turkey, or a roasted chicken.