Red Cabbage with Apples Braised in Vinegar

Notes ahead:

This is a recipe that is often better the day after it’s made; ideal for freeing up stove space the day of Feast. It can be served cold or hot, but is better warm or hot.

This recipe can be made with ingredients directly out of the fridge and cupboard.


  • Kitchen sink
  • 1 Stovetop burner
  • Small bowls x2 (for measuring)
  • Cookpot with a lid (medium)
  • Food processor (optional!)
  • Large chef’s knife (8+ inches)(negotiable!)
  • Large cutting board (negotiable!)
  • Measuring spoons (1 teaspoon)
  • Measuring cup (1 cup)
  • Medium-size serving bowl (if not serving direct from the cookpot)

Ingredients (by prep order)

  • 2/3 pint red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 pint red wine (we used a cheap Cabernet Sauvignon: avoid “cooking wine” and “cooking vinegar” as they are usually weird and salty)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 pounds red cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 medium apples (large dice)
  • 1 cup dried berries/raisins
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

How to

Measure your wine and vinegar into a bowl and pour both into your cookpot.


Measure your ground cloves and salt into a bowl, dump them in your cookpot, and stir the mixture until the solids have blended into the liquid. Look for clumps, break them up if necessary.


Rinse the exterior of your cabbage. Who knows what happened to it outside your house?

Cut the cabbage in half (or quarters, as you like) so you can reveal and remove the tough woody stem core that extends up into the ball from the bottom. (It’s edible, but not ideal; leave it in if you’re trying to use the whole buffalo.)

Shred or slice up your cabbage demispheres, by food processor or large chef’s knife. Your results will likely be thinner, finer, from the food processor, and will cook a bit faster. The larger your pieces via knife, the more you can use the term “rustic” while you work.

Place all the cabbage in your cookpot.

Set the pot a-boiling, with the lid on. This recipe is finished when the cabbage is a “delightful” texture, so the sooner it’s softened up, the better; all your other ingredients can be added as the pot boils along.


Measure your dried fruit into a bowl.

Cut your apples in quarters and cut out the seed-laden plastic core from the center (much like the cabbage). Slice these quarters into perhaps four or five pieces depending on the size of the apple.


Add the apples and dried fruits to the cookpot and stir them in as you’re able; if the cabbage is still very stiff, this may be easier with tongs instead of a spoon.


Nestle the butter on top of everything. Place the lid on the pot.


Let it cook until the thickest cabbage pieces have softened enough to be “delightful” in the mouth; this is up to your preference. Check often.

Notes following:

We used a pre-packaged dried berry mixture that has golden raisins, cherries and cranberries. The cranberries are New World and would not be period-accurate to 14th century Germany. You can use raisins or currants with some dried cherries instead. The mixture we get is from Wal-Mart and it’s surprisingly about on par with plain raisins for the price.

This is not based on a historical recipe but rather our take on a dish that is common throughout German cooking with many regional variations. There are some hisotrical recipes for similar treatments of cabbage cooked in wine, vinegar or broth such as this Danish recipe or this English recipe.

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