My father was born and lived in Germany until adolescence. A lot of the food we grew up eating was traditional German fare my mother learned to make for him: spätzle, sauerbraten, marzipan. There was a lot of sauerkraut, mustard and trips to German delicatessens in the area. Maybe I love the food because it’s in my blood. Maybe I love it because it’s strong and potent-flavored and I don’t take kindly to anything weak.
Since next week is Christmas (I KNOW! Holy bananahammocks, Batman) I am going to share some of my favorite traditional holiday meals and sides, and this red cabbage is one of them. I think this is one of those foods – much like my beloved Brussels sprouts – that either you love or hate. I adapted my mother’s recipe only slightly, using a crockpot, honey instead of sugar, and mulling spices in a cheesecloth. Other than that, this is a famous Weber traditional recipe that I hope you enjoy.
Crockpot Rotkohl (German Red Cabbage)
What you need:
1 medium/large red cabbage, shredded
1 med sweet onion, diced
2 med (or 1 large) apple, granny smith or other sour kind, peeled, cored and diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp honey
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp mulling spice, in a cheesecloth bag or tea steeper
1 c. water
1 tbsp butter
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 c. raisins (optional)
1/2 lb bacon, diced (optional)
What you do:
- If using bacon, cook until crispy and drain on a paper towel. Then use the bacon grease to saute the onion.
- If not using bacon, saute the onion in the butter until translucent.
- Add rest of ingredients into crockpot, set on low for 6 hours.
- If you’re going to use a stock pot or dutch oven for this, the cooking time would be between 1 and 2 hours, depending on amount you make.
- Remove spice bag before serving. This seems self-explanatory and yet…maybe it’s just me.