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Red cabbage with apples and caraway seeds


Pan
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My mother used to cook an Austrian-style red cabbage with apples and caraway seeds that I really liked. I'm not sure what cookbook she was using. Anyway, I found a recipe on the Food & Wine website: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/braised-red-cabbage-with-caraway-and-apple

 

My mother didn't use mustard seeds, but I thought I'd try them, along with the caraway seeds. However, I don't have red wine and I'm reluctant to buy any because it would go bad easily if I don't drink it up. I also would rather not use sugar. So I'm thinking that it might make sense for me to instead get a granny smith varietal of hard cider and use that, knowing that the rest will be in cans and won't go bad quickly, and I can drink some with my cabbage. I was also thinking of using a couple of apples instead of just one, to up the sweetness (I have granny smith and McIntosh apples, so not so sweet, but sweeter than vinegar for sure).

 

Do you think this recipe will work well with those changes? (I'm also not going to use any salt, as I'm on a low-salt diet.)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Oh my I make it almost exactly such, no wine nor sugar (sugar will make this a dessert IMO, apple and cabbages are sweet enough). I think cider will work great (use a dry one), I use apple cider vinegar, I think it rounds the dish. 

 

Give me a while and I'll translate my recipe for you. 

~ Shai N.

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I usually completely omit or drastically reduce the amount of sugar in savory recipes since it is the way I prefer it.  Agree that red cabbage and apples combo is sweet enough on its own.  Also, do you think something like sherry vinegar instead of wine?

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My apologies for the time it took me to get to writing this down. 

 

  • 1 large cabbage (red or white), stem removed,  cut into thin and short strips 
  • 2 large granny Smith apples, unpeeled
  • 2 tsp butter (feel free to add more to make it richer) 
  • 2 large onions, cut to thin strips 
  • 2 large cloves of garlic 
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional) 
  • 1.5 to 2 teaspoons salt (I'll suggest that you will add a pinch or two if your diet allows) 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 4 to 6 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or wine vinegar) - make sure to taste and adjust 
  • A small bunch of chopped parsley (apx. 4 tablespoons) 

 

  • Remove core from apples and cut to thin strips (apx. 3mm / 1/8 inch thick). Set aside. 
  • In a very wide pot, melt butter and saute the onion until golden (do not brown). 
  • If you have a mortar and pestle, then gently pound the caraway and mustard seeds to release their oils. 
  • Add caraway, mustard seeds and garlic into pot. Saute for 2-3 minutes,until aromatic. 
  • Add sliced cabbage and salt. Cook for 5 minutes (note that the salt usually helps the cabbage to soften, if you reduce it, you may need to cook for a couple of extra minutes). 
  • Add sliced apples and cover the pot. 
  • Cook gently until volume is reduced, and the cabbage mostly softened. The cabbage and apple should retain some crispness, apx. 20 minutes.  (obviously adjust this to your preference). 
  • Add parsley, vinegar and black pepper and stir well. Make sure to taste and adjust to taste. 
  • Sometimes I serve it with short and wide egg noodles or farfalle pasta. 

 

 

One thing to note is to make sure not to over cook it, sine cooking time varies, make sure to check the texture as you go in order to retain some crispness. 

I believe that you will find that the cooked cabbage and caraway combine to give this dish plenty of wine like aroma. 

 

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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Looks like an excellent recipe. I may use olive oil instead of butter and will indeed omit salt, but otherwise, I think I'll follow your recipe.

 

So no alcohol?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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The butter is not crucial IMO, I like it better than oil, but the amount is too small to be significant. 

I use no alcohol in this recipe, but I'm sure both dry wine and dry cider can do nicely if added before the cabbage and boiled down. 

Edited by shain (log)

~ Shai N.

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Thanks for mentioning this.  Last year, there was some discussion of cabbage-apple dishes in the Instant-Pot thread by @andiesenji in this post and  @Anna N in this post that piqued my interest but the warm September So Cal weather made me defer trying it.  It's supposed to rain here tomorrow and I have a red cabbage rolling around in the bottom of the veg drawer so I should give this a try, too.

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If you DID want some wine there are "single serve" bottles out there you could use though the hard cider idea is interesting.  Johnnybird's grandmother made her red cabbage with lots of vinegar - usually white and just caraway seed not mustard but she added grape jelly.  She said that during the war (WW I for her) the family had plenty of grapes that they made into jelly without using sugar - was never able to get this recipe from her before she died.  She usually served it with homemade  spaetzle she cut off her board into the salted water and applesauce.  Sometimes with sauerbraten sometimes without.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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My mother's recipe never had mustard seeds in it. As a child, I wouldn't have liked that. I suspect  it used lemon juice, rather than vinegar, but I'm not sure. She often used it as a side dish for goulash or chicken paprikas, but I'm not going to make either of those today (maybe another day).

 

I could also look for half-bottles at my local discount wine and liquor store, but I have the general sense that they're usually a bad value.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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3 hours ago, Pan said:

 I could also look for half-bottles at my local discount wine and liquor store, but I have the general sense that they're usually a bad value.

 

A bad value is if you throw the rest away.  Now that I only use wine to cook with I often buy half(375 ml) or smaller bottles.  I could buy a full bottles and then freeze the leftovers in an ice cube tray I suppose....

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I routinely make a braised red cabbage in apple juice that needs no other sweetener. Often I'll add allspice and a splash of cider vinegar. Great with pork and beef.

 

 I love those airplane bottles of wine for cooking. . The Woodbridge stuff is high enough quality and isn't expensive.

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I use the recipe from Foods of the World - Germany.  It calls for bacon fat to sauté some chopped onion; red wine vinegar; a very small amount of red wine; a whole onion studded with four cloves; a bay left.  It says to cook for an hour then add Red currant jelly if you like and I usually add a couple of tablespoons.  However, I cook mine for three hours or until the cabbage is extremely soft....adding extra water as needed.  Love it so soft.  It freezes very well.

definitely "Red cabbage weather".

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I didn't get around to making this today. If I make 2 heads' worth  of cabbage, should I double all the other ingredients? If not, which ones should I avoid doubling, and maybe keep the same?

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Michael aka "Pan"

 

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2 hours ago, Pan said:

I didn't get around to making this today. If I make 2 heads' worth  of cabbage, should I double all the other ingredients? If not, which ones should I avoid doubling, and maybe keep the same?

Two cabbages is quite an amount, I cook for two so I usually make half a cabbage.  If you do double then double everything, make sure to use a very wide pot to allow for sufficient evaporation, maybe remove the lid early to let some moisture escape. 

 

Allspice, cloves (be careful with those), bayleaf (I'll sure try this next time) or nutmeg should all be nice additions in moderation. 

Bacon or bacon fat will work well, but I keep it vegiterian. 

~ Shai N.

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I guess I'll stick with 1 head, then.  This is just for me, but it would be great for it to last for a while. I will keep this vegetarian, not because I don't eat meat but because my mother didn't use any animal ingredients when she made this (unless maybe butter), and I don't want to deal with salt. I do have some allspice and cloves. How much would you use? I don't have bay leaves but can easily buy them.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Cabbage is one of those vegetables that keeps well in the fridge for a surprising time. Also, although, McIntosh apples are my very favorite to eat raw, they will get soft very quickly with cooking and disintegrate pretty completely in twenty minutes of cooking. Your Granny Smith will hold more integrity for longer, if that is what you're after.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Thanks for the info. In that case, I'll use the Granny Smiths in this, and I'll bake the McIntoshes in the oven with cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Yes, do stick with the granny's for this. Half a teaspoon of allspice might be a good starting point, but I never tried using it in this dish. I'll suggest that you skip the cloves for the first time, they can be very dominant. 

~ Shai N.

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10 hours ago, Pan said:

Thanks for the info. In that case, I'll use the Granny Smiths in this, and I'll bake the McIntoshes in the oven with cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger.

macs make the most amazing pies....I STILL remember the guy who came down from Canada every fall bringing us a bushel full of Macintoshes we stored in the basement for baked apples and pies over the winter.

 

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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OK, I just pretty much finished making it. It's come out well. The cider was fine, and I'll bet this would be OK with beer, too. I was impatient and didn't completely evaporate it, but I think that's alright. I ended up adding additional caraway seeds, for a total of 2 1/2 teaspoons, and yellow mustard seeds, for a total of about 1 1/2 teaspoons, but I don't have a mortal and pestle, so that makes a difference. I also added about a half tablespoon more vinegar, for a total of 6 teaspoons and 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar. Next time, I think I'd up the number of apples by as many as 2, for a total of 4. I also used enough black pepper to make the dish slightly peppery. I added 1/2 teaspoonfull of allspice. At that amount, it doesn't taste much, but that's fine. OK, now I'll eat some.

 

By the way, I could not have fit more than one head of cabbage in my large saucepan, and I also inaugurated a  ladle I bought at Pearl River the other day.

 

Thanks, everyone!

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Michael aka "Pan"

 

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By the way, the cabbage is a little chewy. I'm glad I'm eating this now, not a couple of weeks ago, as I had a tooth extracted on Jan. 5.

 

One other thing, the parsley is a great idea. I think I used more than 4 tablespoons' worth, and I would seriously consider using about twice as much next time; I may add some fresh parsley tomorrow.

 

This tastes very good.

Edited by Pan (log)
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Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'm very glad that you are enjoying this!

This dish is a showcase of attempting to make the most out of humble ingeridients. 

Please let me know if you keep modifying it to your taste or try new variations. 

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~ Shai N.

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