“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.”
― H.L. Mencken, “A Book of Burlesques”
I have a German Mum.
Well – to be fair, she calls herself a Kiwi now, but she grew up in Germany. So her cooking traditions tend towards the European.
That means when you cook cabbage, you do it long and slow. None of this lightly sautéed cabbage palaver for her. Nope.
I vividly remember Mum’s braised red cabbage from when I was growing up. And Rotkohl is such an über German thing to cook that I could hardly break with my heritage and lightly sauté it, could I?
And apparently – it must have cloves. In fact, Mum says it should have sugar, too…
But here’s where my Mum and I part ways
Because I’ve broken with tradition just a teeny bit. While I’ve added a little sugar, I’ve also thrown in a few raisins. I think their sweetness offsets the tartness of the vinegar nicely.
I do have to acknowledge that Mum is right. Long, slow cooking is definitely the way to go. It really intensifies the flavour.
We served our braised cabbage with LM’s roasted rack of pork. I think it may just be his ‘signature dish’ and I love it. The flavours of the pork work well with the cabbage, and we had some lovely roasted kumara (sweet potato), too.
Here’s my take on AIP-friendly SWEET ‘n’ TART Braised Red Cabbage served with Apple and Raisins…
- ½ red cabbage (approximately 1 kilo)
- 1 large granny smith apple
- 3 Tablespoons duck fat
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- 3 Tablespoons raisins
- 1 - 2 bayleaves
- First, prepare your cabbage and apple. Remove the outer leaves of your red cabbage and slice finely. I use the shredding attachment on my food processor. Peel, core and dice your Granny Smith.
- Peel and finely dice your onion. Melt the duck fat into a dutch oven (I used my le Creuset) over a medium heat. Sweat the onions for about 10 minutes, until translucent.
- Add your cabbage and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- While your cabbage is cooking down, peel and mince your garlic. Add your garlic, diced apple, apple cider vinegar, ground cloves, coconut sugar, raisins and bay leaves to the cabbage mix. Season generously and bring to the boil, before turning down to a simmer. Add the lid and walk away.
- Leave the cabbage to cook slowly on a low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Check for seasoning before serving.
This recipe features in the Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable