Recipe Source: Fleetwood, Jenni. One-Pot, Slow-Pot & Clay-Pot Cooking. Anness Publishing, London, 2006 p. 80.
Last month I went to an event down in New Britain, Connecticut. I knew that the feast would be likely to be fairly pork-heavy and therefore something that neither I nor my daughter would be able to enjoy, so we planned to dine elsewhere that evening. We had some good friends with us and I was looking forward to it. Several local friends strongly encouraged us to try a local German restaurant by the name of "East Side." It sounded good - all the research I did for the German feast I did last May has given me an enduring love for German food. We decided we'd try it and the food definitely lived up to the hype. I ordered a meat dish and it came with a side of braised red cabbage. I was distinctly unenthusiastic about the braised red cabbage. If you've ever read this blog before you know that I've only recently worked up to tolerating the existence of cabbage at all. Still, I'd ordered it and I was hungry and I need to learn to be willing to try things that I don't generally like. The first mouthful was awful. I chewed. I swallowed. I made a face and turned away. I took another mouthful... and another... and another...
I became addicted. Addicted to cabbage. I'm not kidding. I've been able to think of little else besides this stupid cabbage dish since then. I want it with a longing that goes beyond what I would generally consider healthy or sane. I don't know if it's the color, or the sourness behind it, or the positive association of the friends I was with, or possibly just the beer but I want the cabbage.
I've been going through my recipe books looking for cabbage recipes in an attempt to re-create it. This is not the same recipe, but it is a tasty red cabbage braise and it does come relatively close. I made a few changes. I omitted the sugar. It didn't need sugar, at least not in my humble opinion. I switched apples for quinces, because I had them on hand. I added a little bit of cloves because in my head I remember a hint of cloves in the dish I remember, and also because cloves are tasty. That's about it, and they were good changes. The dish was much loved by everyone at the table.
Braised Red Cabbage and Beets (serves 6; approx. cost per serving not available)
1 head red cabbage, finely shredded
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 quinces, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 red beets, peeled and grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
black pepper to taste
- Dutch oven
- Frying pan
- Put the cabbage in the Dutch oven.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan.
- Add the onion and saute until very soft.
- Add the quinces, vinegar, spices and stock. Cook for about 3 minutes, then carefully transfer the contents to the Dutch oven.
- Cover the Dutch oven and place in an unheated oven.
- Set the oven temperature to 375︒ and go do something else for an hour.
- Stir in the beets. Cover and cook another 30 minutes.
- Serve hot.