Make Ahead

Grandma Netta's Red Cabbage

November 17, 2010
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

My maternal step-grandmother was actually Italian but married my German/Swedish grandfather, whom she met while working in a German restaurant. She had to learn to cook good German and Swedish meals because that was all my grandfather would eat. When I stayed over, she always made me Italian food and him, calves liver and onions.....oh yuck! (Hey, I was 10 at the time.) The 2 things I wish I had begged her to show me how to make were her wonderfully light potato dumplings (which I can still taste today) and her great sauerbraten. I did manage to squirrel away the red cabbage recipe from my Uncle, who still makes it every fall holiday meal. I know there are no onion or apples in this recipe. It is just a simple, light sweet-sour sauced cabbage dish. Here's to you, Grandma Annette, and to whoever gets the bay leaf.....the dishes are all yours. —Stockout

Test Kitchen Notes

This delicious red cabbage was so simple to prepare—just dump the ingredients in a large pot, cover, and simmer for an hour. The glazing that occurs during the next uncovered phase (about 1/2 hour) not only concentrates the delicate sweet-and-sour flavor, but also creates a nice shine, which prevents the tender cabbage from looking dull on your plate. I didn’t miss the typical additions of apple and onion at all, as there was just the right amount of sweetness from the brown sugar. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it dish, which makes it an ideal holiday side. —The Editors

  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 1 large head red cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken)
  • 1/2 cup good stout beer
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Quarter, core, and chop cabbage into 1/4-inch slices. Place all ingredients into a large 5-quart stockpot and simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  2. After 1 hour, uncover, and simmer until liquid is almost all gone and the cabbage is glazed.

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