5 (3)

Sides, Vegetables

Braised red cabbage

Braised red cabbage
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

With a sly smile, like some mischievous 6-foot-7 Santa Claus, Austrian chef Bernhard Mairinger says he has just dropped off a strudel for L.A.’s best-known Austrian, Wolfgang Puck. Giving a gift of strudel is one of the holiday traditions he ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour, plus overnight fermenting | Serves 8 to 12
  • 3 cabbage heads (red)
  • 2 tablespoons salt, more if desired
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 apples, preferably Gala
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • About 2/3 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen and defrosted) or ½ cup lingonberries
  • 1 orange
  • 4 1/4 cups dry red wine
  • About ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, if desired

Step 1Quarter the red cabbage heads, removing the cores. Slice each quarter into a fine julienne, and place the cabbage in a large glass or plastic container (it should be large enough for you to massage the cabbage). Add 2 tablespoons salt and the sugar, and massage them into the cabbage until the cabbage begins to release some of its juice (wear food-safe gloves if desired, as the cabbage might stain your hands).

Step 2Peel the apple and grate it over the cabbage, using a fine cheese grater. Grate the potatoes and add them. Stir in the allspice and berries. Finely zest the orange over the cabbage using a microplane and add the orange juice, then pour over the red wine and vinegar. Stir the mixture together to evenly distribute the flavorings.

Step 3Make a bouquet garni, tying up the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cinnamon stick in cheesecloth, and add that to the cabbage. Cover the cabbage with 2 layers of plastic wrap, and weight it under about 5 pounds of weight (such as plastic-wrapped cans placed on top of a large plate over the cabbage). Place the cabbage in the refrigerator overnight; the next day, you should see about double the amount of liquid.

Step 4Transfer the cabbage into a pot with all of its liquid. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil, and continue to cook until the cabbage begins to soften, about 35 minutes (timing will vary depending on the thickness of the julienne. Remove the lid and lower the heat to a gentle simmer, slowly reducing the liquid until it thickens. Taste the cabbage for texture (it should be soft and tender) and seasoning, adjusting as needed before serving. If desired, add a little aged balsamic vinegar to round out the flavor of the cabbage.


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