The cabbage this year didn’t do great in their new spot. I am realizing that the corner of the bottom bed may not be good for plants of the cabbage family. I did however, get enough from the 6 plants that I was able to make a big batch of Rotkohl. It is a German sweet and sour side dish that goes really well with schnitzel, rouladen, roasts and perogies. I tend to make a batch every fall for the winter months. Last year, we were able to enjoy it all winter thanks to the harvest of red cabbage we had. Here is the recipe that I have altered from some of the other recipes that I originally worked from.

  • 3 lbs red cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 2 large onion, finely diced (I used red onion from the garden)
  • 2 large tart apples, peeled, cored & diced
  • 1/2 cup butter (I used rendered bacon fat)
  • 4 tbsp of red currant jam (I didn’t have any so I used the Christmas jam with cranberries in it)
  • 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  1. Prepare all the ingredients as per the notes above (slice, chop, dice, etc)
  2. In a large soup pot of dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent, approx. 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add the cabbage, stir to coat in the butter & onion mixture and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the apple, broth, bay leaf, cloves, jam, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Test the flavour and tenderness of the cabbage. If adjustments are needed, do so.
  7. Let cool and store in freezer bags or containers.

We ended up enjoying some of this with dinner a few days later when I made some currywurst and french fries. We also like to eat it with schnitzel, perogies, bratwurst, rouladen, etc. I have a few other german recipes that I would like to make this fall that I think the Rotkohl will pair nicely with.

I like sauerkraut, but rotkohl is my personal favourite. I like the sweet & sour flavour of it, and find it heartier than sauerkraut. Plus, with the vibrant colour, it adds a nice visual on the plate, in case you are like me and eat as much with your eyes as you do with your mouth and tummy.

This recipe is the main reason we grow red cabbage. I like shaved red cabbage in salads, but other than that, I have only ever really eaten it as rotkohl. Perhaps I will venture into some new recipes next year, but I am fairly greedy and need at least one large pot of rotkohl prepared for the winter before I will try other recipes.

I hope you enjoy it!


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