Isolde's Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)

Many years ago we became friends with Gunther and Isolde from the Federal Republic of Germany. Gunther was working on a fellowship in Washington, D.C. They were neat people who enjoyed good wines and food. Isolde's red cabbage is the best I have ever tasted, and Jerri does a great job with it.


2 Pounds of red cabbage (1 medium head)
2 Tablespoons of butter or oil
1 medium onion (about 2" in diameter)
1 cup of apple cider
3 or 4 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 Bay leaf
3 or 4 cloves
2 or 3 Tablespoons sugar
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste


Prepare the cabbage by removing any wilted outer leaves and the stem. Wash it thoroughly and chop it, but not too finely. Remove the outer layers from the onion and chop it fine. Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion a minute or two until it is transparent. Add the chopped cabbage and allow it to cook a few minutes uncovered. Add the apple cider, vinegar, bay leaf, cloves, sugar and salt. Stir and cover. Turn down the heat and allow the cabbage to simmer for 70 to 90 minutes. Properly done, the cabbage will be soft but not mushy.

This is a side dish that you can prepare a day in advance, if you wish, or serve it proudly as a leftover, for as Isolde wrote at the end of her recipe: "Der Kohl schmeckt besonders gut, wenn er aufgewaermt ist." Or, "The cabbage tastes especially good when it is warmed up again."

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