International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Blaukraut

Plate of blaukraut braised red cabbage with wursts

(German braised red cabbage)

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Blaukraut, also known as rotkraut or rotkohl, is a popular German side dish. It is most often served with pork, sausages, goose, duck or game and a side of mashed potatoes or potato dumplings. In England, the same dish is called Suffolk red cabbage.

The vinegar in the recipe helps the cabbage to keep its bright purple color, as does the initial sautéing in hot fat before adding the liquid.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Lard or oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped finely -- 1
  • Red cabbage, cored and shredded -- 1 head
  • Red wine vinegar -- 2 tablespoons
  • Stock or water -- 1 to 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar -- 1 tablespoon
  • Whole cloves -- 3
  • Bay leaves -- 2
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste

Method

  1. Heat the lard or oil over medium flame in a large pot. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, or for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage in batches, stirring each addition until it wilts and begins to cook down.
  3. Stir in the vinegar and then add the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Braised Red Cabbage (Blaukraut) Variations

  • Add 1 diced carrot along with the onions.
  • Stir in 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds or a few juniper berries with the onions if you like.
  • Sauté some diced salt pork in the beginning until it gives up its fat instead of using lard or oil.
  • Add 1 or 2 apples, peeled, cored and sliced, after the onions have been sautéed. Heat through 1-2 minutes before adding the cabbage. Especially good with pork.
  • Add 1/4 cup red or white wine along with the water or stock. Red is especially tasty with venison or duck roasts. White wine works well with goose.
  • When serving with game, stir in 2-4 tablespoons of currant jam at the end of cooking.
  • Sometimes some peeled, grated potato is added with the cabbage to thicken up the sauce a bit. A cornstarch slurry may also be used at the end to thicken the sauce and give it a sheen.

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