Thanksgiving was only one month ago. Somehow, you ended up with all the leftovers and you’ve had stuffing for days. You’re so tired of turkey and mashed potatoes, you cannot bear the thought of another turkey dinner. You’ve go to try something different, so try this.
This Christmas Red Cabbage dish, or Rotkraut, is a delicious German tradition around the holidays. In the past, I’ve paired it nicely with bratwurst or a beef roast and gravy.
I had the opportunity to do a foreign exchange to Germany when I was in college and I chose to stay with a host family instead of in the dorms with the other exchange students. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and the experience was priceless. I learned so much more while living with them than I could have otherwise. One of the many things I learned while living with them was how to cook German food.
Learning to cook German food from my host mother was its own adventure. It stretched my German vocabulary to start with. Although my host mother spoke English, there were many ingredients she didn’t know how to translate into English, and I didn’t know the word in German either. I made endless references to my German-English dictionary, which made cooking slow-going.
Furthermore, they measure their ingredients in weight (grams), and milliliters in Germany. You can’t always find the same ingredients here in the states as you can in Germany. Plus, my host mother doesn’t often rely on recipes with exact measurements. Many of her recipes, she measures by feel and experience.
Between translations, conversions, and learning how to work with what you have available, my German recipes have gone through a little bit of tweaking to be able to share them with you today.
Serves: 6 – 8 people
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1/2 head red cabbage
1 cooking apple
2 small onions
1 teaspoon beef bouillon
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (to taste)
salt to taste
fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup water
- Dice onions. Melt butter in a large pot; add onions to pot and brown on medium heat.
- Chop half a head of red cabbage and add to the pot.
- Add water, beef bouillon, sugar, ground cloves, salt to taste, and freshly squeezed lemon juice to the pot. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut apples into small pieces. Add to the pot and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until the apples are at desired tenderness.
- Serve and enjoy. Guten Appetit!
*Optional: Add currant jelly to taste as final step.
*A note about the apples: The apples can be added before or after the cabbage. I prefer my apples a bit crisper, so I choose good cooking apples like Jonagolds, Jonathans, or McIntosh, and add them very last.