New recipes

German braised red cabbage recipe

German braised red cabbage recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

Traditional german braised red cabbage recipe. For a richer variation, use 50g butter and 30g goose fat.

London, England, UK

107 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 1 large red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons light brown muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 200ml water

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr15min

  1. In a large saucepan on medium heat, put half the butter and melt slowly. (Or if you choose the richer variation, add the goose fat and 25g of butter.)
  2. Add the shredded red cabbage, apple chunks, sugar and spices. Mix all together and braise for about 10 minutes, while constantly stirring to prevent burning.
  3. After add the cider vinegar and water. Simmer for 50 minutes on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking time add the remaining butter to give it the glossy shine.


This recipes tastes actually better if prepared one day in advance. Freezes very well.


Also you can add a bit of dark balsamic vinegar, but therefore use less cider vinegar. Or as suggested try to braise with goose fat, rather than just butter. Its delicious! German traditional recipes ask for goose fat and butter.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (2)

Lovely , goes lovely with sausage and mash. xox-07 Feb 2012

  • 2 1/2 ounces bacon (either American or German Bauchspeck, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup onion (diced)
  • 4 cups red cabbage (shredded, about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or agave nectar or honey)
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1 apple (peeled, cored and quartered)

Brown 2 1/2 ounces bacon in a dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add 4 cups shredded red cabbage and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour in 1/2 cup red wine and 1/2 cup apple juice to deglaze, add the 1 tablespoon sugar or agave nectar or honey, 1 whole bay leaf, 4 whole cloves, ground black pepper to taste and 1 peeled, cored and quartered apple.

Simmer on stove top for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Keep the liquids one finger width (1/2 inch) deep, adding apple juice or water. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot.

German braised red cabbage recipe - Recipes

My German red cabbage recipe i s a perfect accompaniment to roast goose and duck, beef and game.

Red cabbage is known as Rotkohl or Rotkraut in Northern Germany and Blaukraut (blue cabbage) in the South.
I always make up a large batch, so choose the largest red cabbage you can find. It tastes even better the next day.

So that the cabbage retains its colour, it is cooked with vinegar. For a fruity taste, apples, pineapple or even cranberries can be added. You can also add a little red wine or port if liked. Many German families have their own red cabbage recipes or nowadays you can buy it in a jar or tin.
Homemade red cabbage is the best though and is well worth the effort.

1kg red cabbage
100g onion
1 cooking apple
40g cooking fat
3 cloves
8 black peppercorns
3 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
150ml red wine
250ml broth or water
1 potato

Wash the red cabbage, half and quarter and remove the central core and then shred into fine slices. Slice the onion, wash, peel and slice the apple.

Heat the cooking fat in a pan. Add the onion and fry gently for a couple of minutes. Add the red cabbage and then the apple. Place the herbs and spices into a muslim sack and then add to the cabbage. Add the vinegar, wine and broth or water and bring slowly to the boil. Add salt and sugar to taste.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Wash and peel the potato and then grate into the cabbage. Simmer for a further 15 minutes. Add more salt and sugar to taste if necessary.

Serve hot. If making ahead, chill and then reheat thoroughly.

I often make a large batch of my red cabbage recipe and keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. It tastes even better! You can also freeze it, which I often do.

Don't worry if you don't have all the herbs and spices, I can assure you it will still taste delicious.

How to make German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl)

  1. Prep the cabbage and bacon: Add the shredded cabbage, salt, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup vinegar, to a large dutch oven or pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry the bacon and reserve 2 tsp of the the bacon fat. Drain all the liquid from the cabbage, if needed.
  2. Make the sauce: Add the brown sugar and flour to a frying pan with the bacon fat. Whisk well to combine, then add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Season with salt, pepper, then stir in the onion. Simmer for 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  3. Cook the cabbage: Add the prepared sauce to the large pot with the cabbage along with the apples and bacon. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 3-5 hours, stirring every once in a while, adding a splash of water if needed so the cabbage doesn’t dry out.

Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon

Bacon is most commonly cooked on the stovetop or in the oven. If you’re opting for the former, start with a cold pan with the bacon strips touching, but not overlapping. Set the burner on low and allow the bacon to slowly release its fat. As it begins to cook, use tongs to flip the strips and fry them on their opposite sides. Continue to flip and turn until the bacon is browned evenly. Let the cooked bacon drain by carefully placing them on paper towels or a newspaper.

To cook bacon in the oven, simply line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange the bacon strips on its surface. If your baking sheet does not have grooved edges, be sure to fold the aluminum corners upwards to catch excess grease. Bake at 400°F for ten to 20 minutes (depending on your texture preference), remove, and place bacon strips on paper towels or a newspaper. The bacon will crisp as it cools.

How to Store Bacon

How to Freeze Bacon

How to Freeze Pork

How to Thaw Pork

Pork is easiest to thaw when placed in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. Small roasts will take three to five hours per pound, while larger roasts can take up to seven hours per pound. Thawing ground pork depends entirely on the thickness of its packaging.

It is safe to cook frozen or partially-frozen pork, but its cooking time may take 50 percent longer. Frozen pork should not be cooked in a slow cooker.

First, in a large pot add olive oil over medium heat and when it’s hot add chopped onions and sauté about 2 minutes.

Stir in diced apples and chopped cabbage. Let it cook for another minute.

Then turn down the heat to medium low.

Add in the sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and cover the pot.

Let the cabbage simmer another 50-55 minutes.

Stir occasionally to be sure your stove is not cooking too high. If it seems dry, add a little water and turn the heat to low.

Cook until cabbage is tender.

Health Note on Cabbage

The ancient Greeks believed in the curative power of Cabbage.

Hippocrates often prescribed it boiled with salt for patients with violent colic.

Pythagoras even composed several entire books on the virtues of Cabbage.

It was said that Diogenes ate cabbage on the recommendation of Pythagoras while Aristippus, another Greek philosopher, refused to even have it in his kitchen.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence but Diogenes lived to the ripe old age of 90 and Aristippus died at the age of 40.

Other Variations on a Red Cabbage Recipe

There are many variations on authentic German Cabbage that you might want to try for Oktoberfest. Here are just a few of them.

Red Cabbage and Apple

Peel a Granny Smith apple and slice into small bites. Add them right after cooking the onion and sauté for 3 minutes before adding in the seasonings. Adding apples adds a nice texture and a tart-sweet bite when you have a forkful.

Juniper Berry Red Cabbage

Add 1 tablespoon of juniper berries and add when you add the onions. Follow the rest of the instructions as listed. Juniper berries add a delicious deep flavor.

Holiday Version: Cranberry Red Cabbage

Add 1/4 cup fresh cranberries when adding in the onions to saute. Cranberries add a sweet juiciness when you bit into them.

I&rsquove also added a 1/4 teaspoon of cloves when I add the brown sugar. When the braised red cabbage is cooking, your house will have an extra holiday feeling with the delicious aroma it gives off.


Every Recipe, Every Rating, Every Video from Every Magazine & Every Episode!

  • 25 years of Cook's Illustrated, Cook's Country, and America's Test Kitchen foolproof recipes
  • NEW!

Dear Home Cook,

If we were new to our websites, we might think, “It’s easy to get free recipes on the Internet. What makes your recipes different?” Well, unlike recipes from blogs, message boards, and other recipe sites, our recipes are exhaustively tested by our team of full-time test cooks until they offer consistently great results. That means fried chicken with a crunchy coating and moist meat, a low-fat recipe makeover for macaroni and cheese that’s as creamy and cheesy as the full-fat version, and fork-tender slow cooker pot roast.

We’re obsessive in our quest to find and foolproof the best of American home cooking, from fuss-free weeknight dinners, to updated, simplified versions of regional specialties, to slow cooker and make ahead meals. Our all access membership is the only place you can find every foolproof recipe, TV episode, and objective ratings and test results for cookware and supermarket ingredients from all 25 years of Cook’s Country, America’s Test Kitchen, and Cook’s Illustrated.

Let us make a simple, no-nonsense offer. Try out all three of our websites FREE for a 14-Day, No-Hassle Trial Offer. We’re pretty confident that your All-Access membership will quickly become invaluable resources for everything from a quick Tuesday supper to your next get-together with family and friends.

Recipes for Authentic German Side Dishes

Good side dishes (Beilagen, in German) will complement the flavor and texture of the main dish and combine nicely with gravy or other well-prepared sauces.

Here you’ll find the most popular German vegetable sides (Gemüsebeilagen) and carbs (Sättigungsbeilagen – a term from former East Germany referring to the carbohydrates designed to help you feel full (“sättigen”) – along with great matching sauces and gravies.

Bacon gravy
A rich and creamy bacon onion gravy from Germany that’s a traditional sauce for potato dumplings such as Hoorische or Gefillde.

Bavarian Egg Dumplings
These German boiled bread, potato and egg dumplings get a head start from a dumpling mix that comes in a box.

Bavarlan Zwieback Dumplings
Made-from-scratch dumplings in an easy fashion with Zwieback and parsley. A great side dish to mushroom ragout with cream sauce.

Black Forest Inn Potato Puree
Lightly seasoned potato puree. piped into decorative mounds.

Braised Red Cabbage
Red cabbage braised with onion. apple and seasonings is a versatile side dish and the perfect accompaniment to Sauerbraten.

Cassis-flavored Red Cabbage
A spiked u p red cabbage side dish with red currant juice and cassis

Chef Olafs Red Cabbage Recipe
Chef Olaf uses a custom spice blend reminiscent of German gingerbread spice for this red cabbage recipe, transforming a fairy simple dish into the epitome of comfort food.

Chef Olaf s Sauerkraut Recipe
Chef Olaf uses double smoked bacon for depth, and adds fresh apples,onions, and spices to balance the natural acidity of the sauerkraut.

Creamy Sauerkraut with Chives
Tangy sauerkraut is tempered with creme fraiche for a side dish that complements roast chicken or pork chops. AJso great to top baked potatoes.

This beet-root side dish goes well with pork chops. A vegetarian version of Northern Germany’s “Bremer Labskaus” or “Sailors Stew.”

Fried Asparagus with Herb Cream
White asparagus fried in a beer batter. then served with herbed cream sauce- a very German celebration of asparagus season .

Crispy potato pancakes with an unpronounceable name from Germany’s Saarland region are flavored with leeks and onion. Serve with apple sauce or Bibbelsche Bohnesupp.

Heaven and Earth
Heaven (apples) and earth (potatoes) combine in this tasty side dish with bacon and onions. The name is derived from the 18th century word “Erdapfel” (earth apples) for potatoes.

Herbed Spaetzle
Packaged German spaetzle get a flavor boost from a brown butter and herb sauce 1n this versatile side dish.

Hofbrau Coleslaw Homemade Spaetzle
With variations such as Green Herb Spaetzle. Spaetzle are a type of egg noodles or small, elongated dumplings.A regional specialty of Swabia, Germany. – a historic region that crosses the southern states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria.

Horseradish-Roasted Fall Vegetables
Zesty Bavarian horseradish nicely balances the sweetness of the squash and apples. for a recipe full of the flavors of harvest season.

Königsberger Wedding Noodles
A variation of meatballs.capers and cream over full flavored egg noodles

Pan-Fried Potato Fritters
A traditional finger-shaped potato pancake recipe from the southwestern part of Germany. most commonly served sauteed until golden brown with onions, bacon and sauerkraut.

Pellkartoffeln mit Quark
Traditional German family dish of boiled potatoes in their jackets served with creamy quark and chives.

Potato Dumplings from Thuringia
A authentic German recipe for traditional Thuringia potato dumplings. Although there are only 4 ingredients, this recipe takes some practice to get right.

Potato Salad Berlin Style
In this variation of German potato salad, the marinade contains boiled onions and gherkins.

Literally translated as “grated cakes,” these simple potato pancakes are also known as Kartoffelpuffer. An easy, basic German recipe.

Rheinischer Döbbekooche
A crusty German potato cake cooked in a casserole dish with finely minced onions. eggs and spices. topped with bacon. Traditionally eaten around St Martin’s Day (November 11).

The traditional German-Swiss variation of fried grated potatoes, similar to Reibekuchen or Kartoffelpuffer. A variations by Chef David St John-Grubb.

Classic German recipe for red cabbage cooked with sweet and sour flavors.

Scalloped Kohlrabi
Chef Olaf created this side dish recipe to help people fall in love with the mild, broccoli-like flavor of kohlrabi.

Swabian recipe for finger-like German-style gnocchi

Spinach Spaetzle from Scratch
Spinach spaetzle are a perfect complement to venison or any other roast meat. Recipe from Master Chef Peter Schaffrath, Hay Adams Hotel, Washington DC.

Tipsy Plum
Braised spiced plums with wine and brandy makes a side dish that adds some extra spiff and flavor to meals featuring turkey. pork, duck or beef .

Warm Apple and Cabbage Slaw
A slaw with texture and depth made from fresh shredded cabbage, sauerkraut. apples. walnuts. and a warm dressing .

White Asparagus with Black Forest Ham
A side dish or salad of blanched white asparagus and fine German Black Forest ham, with avocado, tomato. basil and chives and an oil and vinegar dressing .

Wild Garlic Pesto
This variation of classic Italian pesto uses wild garlic (also known as rampson or ramps, called Bärlauch in Germany, where it rapidly gained popularity.

is dedicated to raising awareness and appreciation of German and Central European cuisine. Find hundreds of authentic recipes, contemporary meal ideas, and guides to the region’s diverse food cultures. Browse 1,100+ imported food and beverage products for sale. This website is maintained by German Foods North America, LLC, an independent importer and retailer based in Washington, DC.

About GermanFoods

Stay Connected!

Get the latest recipes, news and special offers in our monthly newsletter.

Newsletter Signup

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 pinch caraway seeds

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat cook cabbage in the hot butter until it begins to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt. Pour in water, red wine, and red wine vinegar. Stir to combine. Mix in sugar and caraway seeds.

Continue to cook and stir until liquid has evaporated and cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes. If cabbage isn't quite tender, add a splash of water and continue cooking a few more minutes.