This braised red cabbage has been a part of Christmas dinner in our house for decades. It’s easy, with simple ingredients, and is a delicious side dish to a Pork Loin, pork chops, or a Sunday roast dinner. While this red cabbage recipe is Swedish, it’s very similar to German red cabbage with apples and red currant jelly to give pefect balance and a hint of sweetness.
This braised cabbage recipe comes from the Time-Life cookbook series, Foods of the World, from the 60’s. Which is a classic cookbook series that I often rely on for international dishes. (This post was originally published on January 4th, 2013.)
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While we usually serve it during the holidays it’s also a great all autumn or winter long!
Ingredients for braised red cabbage
One head of red or purple cabbage is around 2 pounds and should easisly serve 8-10, especially if you’re serving other vegetable sides. The leftovers are even better and last a few days in the fridge.
- 1 head of red cabbage
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup white or white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup red currant jelly (or lingonberry)
- 2 Tablespoons apple, grated
- black pepper
How to make braised red cabbage
Slice or shred red cabbage with a knife or in a food processor.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or large skillet.
Add shredded cabbage and saute, over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, making sure all of the cabbage is well coated with butter.
Add vinegar, water, sugar and salt and saute another couple of minutes. Bring the cabbage to a boil. Remove from heat.
Cover Dutch oven and place in the center of the oven for 2 hours. 10 minutes before cabbage is done, remove from oven and stir in jelly and grated apple.
Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes. Store any leftover cooked cabbage in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Can I make braised cabbage in advance?
This is a great side dish to make ahead as it actually tastes better the next day! I make it up to one or two days in advance. To reheat, bring to room temperature, then place in 300 degree F. oven for about 1 hour, tossing half way throught to distribute heat, (cooking time will vary). To microwave, heat 3 minutes at a time, covered, turning each time to check and distribute heat until piping hot. Reheat on the stove top, in a large pot and cover. Warm over a low heat, stirring periodically to prevent burning.
What’s the best kind of apples to use for this dish?
Granny Smith apples, Gala or Fuji work well. Avoid using a Red Delicious as they usually lack flavor. The recipe calls for a few tablespoons of grated apple, which is about 1/2 of a small apple. You can also substitute a few tablespoons of chunky or homemade applesauce.
Can I substitute another kind of jelly?
Lingonberry jelly is in the original recipe, but then again it’s a Swedish recipe. I’ve substituted red currant, black currant or red raspberry jam. The jelly or jam is just to give a little sweetness to this dish.
Can I make braised cabbage in the slow cooker?
As with most slow cooker recipes, I’d start this one on the stove and then and slow cook for 4 hours on high and 6 hours on low. You can also use the slow cooker to reheat the cabbage, freeing up oven space during busy holidays. Turn cabbage on high and heat for one hour, then reduce to low or warm until ready to serve.
What to serve with braised red cabbage
While we serve this traditional Scandinavian side dish accompaniment to Rack of Pork with Green Pepper Sauce for Christmas dinner, it’s also the perfect addition to a Roast Beef or Roast Chicken dinner. It would also be a great addition to a Thanksgiving spread.
Looking for more side dishes?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts are a great “green” veggie if you’re looking for the perfect balance of color for your meal!
Sweet Potaotes with Browned Butter and Sage are a colorful alternative to mashed potatoes.
Cornbread Stuffing is a traditional holiday side dish.
Braised Red Cabbage
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Melt butter in a Dutch oven over a medium heat.
- Sauté cabbage for a few minutes, coating all the cabbage with the butter.
- Add vinegar, water, sugar and salt and sauté another couple of minutes.
- Cover Dutch oven and place in center of oven for 2 hours.
- 10 minutes before cabbage is done, remove from oven and stir in red currant or lingonberry jelly and grated apples. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper if necessary.
- Can be made up to 2 days in advance.
- Can be made up to two days before serving.
- Substitute raspberry, black currant or red currant jelly or jam for the lingonberry.
- No apples? Substitute a few tablespoons of chunky applesauce.