German red cabbage is a popular side dish in the German-speaking countries. In fact, it’s a traditional side dish in Bavaria and Austria.
This healthier side dish can be easily recreated at home, just follow the from scratch recipe with the step by step pictures further below.
What is German cabbage?
The German red cabbage side dish is a common sight in any of the households in central Europe.
Locals don’t call it German in the Alps, it’s mostly just known as “Rotkraut Beilage” – which translates to red cabbage side dish.
This must make end of harvest side dish is commonly served during autumn and winter with several different proteins.
In the mountains, you can have it served with beautifully prepared wild game meat such as rabbit.
However, my favorite choice to enjoy and combine red cabbage with is definitely deer or bore meat!
You can visit mountain ins known as Alms or one of the traditional Gasthaus inns, when visiting central European countries including Austria and the neighboring free state Bavaria (Germany) and South Tyrol (Italy), if you want to experience the real authentic soul of this red cabbage side dish.
Austria regional, Tyrol travel Tip: The Restaurant Auracher Löchl in Kufstein serves outrageously good red cabbage and other local goodies!
Or you could just follow the recipe further below to bring a breeze of my culture into your home.
You prepare the sweet and sour German red cabbage by adding mellow spices such as whole cloves, bay leaves, and juniper seeds.
Basically, you add subtle flavors and you take the dish to another level by adding a dash of red wine vinegar and red vine, so to braise it slowly until you have a perfectly cooked side dish
The German red cabbage is easy to prepare from scratch side dish flavored with apple.
It won’t take much of your food preparation time.
Also, the side dish is gluten-free, nut-free and lactose-free.
How to serve the German Red Cabbage?
You can pair the red cabbage with a wild game, pork, beef or fish dish.
I personally don’t think it would make sense to serve the red cabbage side with chicken or turkey but if you enjoy it that way, go ahead!
Oh and Vegetarians can always serve the vegetable side with Knödel dumplings or you could enjoy the vegetable delight with some mash potato.
More dishes from the region:
German Red Cabbage Recipe with Apple – Braised Cabbage Side Dish below:
German Red Cabbage with Apple Recipe
- Discard the outer leafs of the red cabbage and wash well under running water. Cut off and discard the stump end. Quarter and slice your red cabbage. Keep aside in a bowl.
- Wash your apple well under running water and discard the core. Cut into smaller cubes or shred the apple. Keep aside together with the red cabbage.
- In a pot add the butter and brown sugar. Heat up on slow heat and allow the ingredients to melt but don’t burn the butter and sugar.
- Continue to add in the red cabbage and apple pieces. Stir fry for a minute.
- Throw in the spices, cloves, bay leaf and juniper seeds.
- De-glaze by pouring into the cooking cabbage the red wine and the wine vinegar. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes or until it's warm again then add the broth and season with salt and pepper.
- Braise for about 30 minutes on slow heat and make sure to control frequently if there is enough liquid, in case add some more water to keep the braising cabbage moist. The cabbage should be soft moist but not soggy.
- Pick-out the whole spices and discard before serving hot.
- Serve hot as a side with Pork, Beef, Wild game, fish or/and Knödel dumplings and/or butter potatoes.