Oma's German Red Cabbage

German red cabbage recipes, aka Rotkohl, Rotkraut, and Blaukraut, are among those best vegetable recipes that Germans love!

They go so well with dishes like rouladen (or flatladen in my family) and meat loaf. It's THE traditional German side dish that fits so well to almost anything.

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

60 minutes

Total Time

70 minutes

Servings:

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 - 3 tbsp butter, oil, or bacon fat (oil, if making this vegan)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 head red cabbage, shredded (about 2 lbs)
  • salt, pepper, sugar
  • ground cloves, vinegar, cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. In large pot, heat butter, oil, bacon fat, or combination. Lightly sauté onion.
  2. Add red cabbage. Continue to sauté for several minutes, stirring. When some of the cabbage has browned, add about 1 cup of water.
  3. Add about 1 tsp salt, some freshly ground pepper, about ¼ tsp cloves and 2 tsp sugar. Stir.
  4. Bring to simmer, cover. Simmer for about 30 - 60 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Add water as necessary and stir occasionally during simmering.
  5. Add about 2 tbsp vinegar. Taste and season with more salt, cloves, pepper, sugar and vinegar as needed.
  6. Mix about 2 tbsp cornstarch with cold water and slowly stir in just enough to thicken red cabbage liquid. Serve.

Notes/Hints:

  • The traditional "red cabbage" is cooked till almost the "mush" stage. If you prefer, you can slice the cabbage instead of shredding and cook it only about ½ hour instead if you prefer a cabbage dish with a bit of 'bite'.
  • For another version, try this red cabbage with apples recipe. 
  • Here's how to make this using canned or jarred red cabbage for an extra quick version.
  • If you only have whole cloves, you can cut your onion in half and stud the cut side with 4 - 6 whole cloves. Omit the sautéing part for the onion. Remove the onion (with the cloves) before serving.
  • This goes really well with almost any German meat recipe, especially traditional with rouladen or schnitzel.

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03.07.2021 revision update