Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
Updated: Jun 22, 2022
I learned about German food from my stepmother, whose parents were German. At one point in their lives they were bakers but I never had anything they baked. But the pork chops, potato salad, and especially red cabbage, that my stepmother and her mother introduced me to as I was growing up were so memorable that I spent a good amount of time experimenting and working out recipes. This recipe is what I remember of her mother's red cabbage, with a little American tradition thrown in - bacon. We love bacon.
Note: This freezes incredibly well. I often will cook a large batch and freeze individual portions so that I always have it on hand any time I am hankering for pork chops. Because cabbage is so hearty, the reheated version doesn't taste much different from the original.
1 Tbs. olive oil
6 oz. hickory-smoked bacon (about 8 slices), cut into julienne (to yield 1-1/2 cups)
1 large yellow onion (12 oz.), thinly sliced (to yield 2 cups)
1 medium head red cabbage, cored, cut into eighths, and thinly sliced crosswise (to yield about 8 cups)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a 5- or 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat, add the bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat is rendered and the bacon is just crisp, 3 to 4 min. Remove bacon from the pan and add the onion to the bacon fat. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the brown bits from the bottom, until soft and lightly colored, about 3 min. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring regularly, until just wilted, about 5 min. You may need to add the cabbage in batches, waiting until the first batch is wilted enough to add more, and then turning over the mixture with a large spoon so the wilted cabbage is on the top.
When all the cabbage is in, add half the brown sugar and vinegar, stir well, and let cook until the cabbage is wilted but still has a bit of crunch left to it, about 5 minutes. Adjust with more vinegar and sugar mixture to taste and add a couple of pinches of salt and a few turns on the pepper grinder. Stew for a good 20 more minutes or until everything is soft and the flavors have penetrated the cabbage. Remove from pan and stir in the bacon, reserving a few peices for garnishing the top.