Red cabbage makes me think of fall, and with falling temperatures here in Colorado, my mind is coming around to approaching nippy weather. Red cabbage has an affinity for apples, one of the best fall crops around. So, why not combine a bunch of red things: red cabbage, red apples, and red onion? This sweet and sour cabbage recipe isn’t anything particularly new, but I have toned down both the sweet and the sour. Too many sweet and sour recipes are far too sweet for me. If you take down the sweet, you need to tone down the sour too, or the flavors get out of balance.
The long cooking is necessary for 2 reasons:
- It takes quite a while for the cabbage to cook to tender. Traditionally, this type of cabbage is cooked under very tender.
- The allspice is an aggressive spice and the long cooking mellows it.
Red X 3 – Red Cabbage with Red Apples and Red Onion
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I like sunflower oil)
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground mace
½ medium head of red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
1 red apple such as Fuji or Gala, cored and medium diced
2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons maple syrup or brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oil in a large covered skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions until onions are very tender. If you have the time, keep cooking until they start to brown and caramelize because they taste even better with long cooking. Stir them often so they brown evenly. Add the allspice and mace, and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Reduce heat the medium-low, cover, and cook for 30-45 minutes until cabbage is very tender. Check to see that there is still some moisture in the bottom of the pan about ½ through cooking. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if it is dry.
Photo: By Thamizhpparithi Maari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons