Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage was a staple during the winter in my childhood home. This recipe is one of my favorite ways to make this versatile vegetable.
Behind the scenes making Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage was a staple during the winter in my childhood home. With so many different ways to make it, with apples or without. Sweet, or more savory? Crisp-tender or long-cooked? This recipe, with bacon, is one of my favorite ways to make this versatile vegetable.
You will need:
- Red cabbage - did you know you can usually ask the produce person to cut a whole head into halves when you only want half of one?
- Shallot - or onion, preferably red if you aren't using the shallot.
- Bacon - thick smoked applewood is best.
- Chicken Broth - homemade is best, low-sodium second best.
- Balsamic Vinegar - For best results use Balsamic, but apple cider could be used or even red wine vinegar.
- Brown Sugar - gives a nice deep flavor, but you could use granulated or your own preferred sweetner.
- Allspice- A single spice made from the dried berries of a plant known as Pimenta dioica, which is a member of the myrtle family. If you don't have allspice, you can mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together 2 parts cinnamon, 1 part each nutmeg and cloves, to emulate the flavor.
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage is Quick and Easy
This recipe is very simple to make and takes about 15 - 20 minutes tops. It centers around the bacon and bacon fat which gives it a smoky flavor. The sweet is brown sugar, the sour is balsamic vinegar. You could use apple cider vinegar in place of the balsamic, but I like the deeper flavor balsamic gives.
How to Best Buy Cabbage
When you buy your cabbage, buy it as a whole head or ask the produce person to cut one in half fresh for you. While some stores sell half heads, you don't know how long that cut cabbage has been there. So fresh cut, or cut your own and use the other half for something else - like a tasty slaw. Cabbage does store in the refrigerator well, cover the cut side with some plastic wrap and you have probably got at least two weeks before you will see any noticeable change. Maybe you will be ready for another meal of sweet and sour red cabbage by then? Or change it up with my German Style Red Cabbage which uses apples.
Serve with My Mother's Rouladen and some Mustard Thyme Spatzel to make a true German-style meal!
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
- 1 slice thick applewood smoked bacon
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ head red cabbage thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup sliced shallot
- ½ cup low-salt chicken broth
- 2 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp, remove and once cool, crumble and reserve.
- Add the oil to the same pan; when hot add the cabbage and shallots, saute for a minute, then add the broth, vinegar, sugar, and allspice; season with salt and pepper; cover and cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced to a glaze and the cabbage is crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Remove to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle the bacon bits over the top.