German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl) – The Daring Gourmet
A quintessential and popular German accompaniment, this braised German red cabbage is the perfect accompaniment to your Sunday roast, beef rouladen, brats and more. This authentic German red cabbage recipe (Rotkohl) is easy to prepare, can be made in advance and can even be frozen.
What is German red cabbage
Known as Rotkohl, Blaukohl or Blaukraut in Germany, depending on the region, this braised red cabbage is a staple dish served throughout Germany. It has a distinctive sweet and sour flavor profile achieved by braising red cabbage with apples, vinegar and spices. A traditional accompaniment to meat dishes in particular, I grew up in Germany enjoying Rotkohl on a regular basis served with our Sunday roasts, Sauerbraten and Rouladen.
This sweet and sour red cabbage has been around for, well, seemingly forever. And that’s how it usually works, isn’t it? Large plates stand the test of time. And Rotkohl takes the humble red cabbage and transforms it into something wonderful. If you’ve traveled to Germany or tried traditional German food, you’re probably familiar with Rotkohl. And this authentic German red cabbage recipe will transport you back to your favorite German tables with souvenirs of your favorite German foods.
Is red cabbage healthy?
Sure it is! Red cabbage is packed with a ton of health benefits. It’s low in fat and high in fiber (i.e. a “smart carbohydrate”), it’s packed with vitamin K that’s been shown to help prevent nerve damage that leads to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as helps with mental functioning (i.e. brain foods), is rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, as well as sulfur that improve the health of your skin (i.e. natural beautifiers), is rich in vitamin C that helps eliminate toxins in the body (i.e. ideal for detoxification), has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, helps regulate blood sugar and, because it is high in potassium, It can also help regulate blood pressure. In short, it’s quite a superfood! And among all the red cabbage recipes, this German red cabbage is my favorite way to enjoy this healthy vegetable!
Butter, apples, vinegar, red currant jam, bay leaves, cloves and juniper berries are some of the ingredients that are mixed to create this delicious sweet and sour red cabbage stewed. Just make sure you make time for the slow cooking process. It’s that long process of simmering that is key to the end result. The other key is to make sure you include all the required ingredients, including spices, to achieve that authentic German Rotkohl flavor.
This traditional Rotkohl recipe is easy to prepare and you can cook slowly with minimal attention while preparing the other dishes or going about your daily activities. It’s a great dish prepared because the taste is even better the next day. Feel free to double or triple the batch because this sweet and sour cabbage also freezes well. Simply let it thaw and reheat it gently on the stove or microwave.
German red cabbage recipe
Let’s get started!
Finely chop the
. You don’t need to achieve exact uniformity, so you can do it by hand or with a mandolin or food processor.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook the onions until slightly caramelized, 7-10 minutes.
Add the red cabbage and cook for 5 minutes
Add the diced apple along with the broth, bay leaf, whole cloves, juniper berries, red wine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if necessary. Mix a tablespoon of flour with 2 tablespoons of water until dissolved and stir in the cabbage. Add salt, sugar and vinegar to taste.
<img src="https://www.daringgourmet.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/German-Red-Cabbage-Collage-2-728×364.jpg" alt="cook the cabbage and
add the apple and spices” />
Serve this as an accompaniment to your meat dish along with potatoes, Spaetzle or Knoedel, or German potato dumplings.
For more traditional German dishes, be sure to try our:
- German bread (Vollkornbrot)
- Swabian potato salad Originally published
in The Daring Gourmet July 23, 2014