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Stewed Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

I think if I had to name one side this that’s my husband Jon’s favorite, this is it (and it’s also become a real favorite with my kids!) Although it looks like the pot is too big, trust me, at first the pot is totally full with raw cabbage. It reduces substantially as it braises. Don’t rush things when cooking the cabbage since long, slow simmering is the secret to rendering the shredded leaves into lusciously tender strands that are interestingly sweet, tangy and savory at the same time. Although cabbage is renown for being a perfect partner for roast or sliced duck breast, roast chicken or pork would also be delicious.

Special Equipment:

  • 6-quart, heavy-bottomed pot with lid

For the cabbage:

  • 1 large head red cabbage, any wilted outer leaves removed
  • 2/3 cup defatted, seasoned chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 generous tablespoon soy sauce (preferably Tamari)
  • 2/3 cup red currant jelly
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 generous tablespoons caraway seeds
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To prepare the cabbage: Use a sharp 8-or 10-inch chef’s knife, cut cabbage in quarters, through core. Cut out and discard the core from each wedge. Slice each wedge into thin shreds, then heap them in a bowl. Refrigerate until needed.

To cook: Whisk the stock with the cornstarch and tamari. Melt butter in a 6-quart heavy-bottomed nonreactive saucepan, over medium heat. Stir in the cabbage and let it wilt a bit, about 3 minutes. Give the cornstarch mixture a good stir and add it to the cabbage with the jelly, vinegar and caraway seeds. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook, with the cover ajar, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage has become very reduced and tender and any remaining liquid is thick and clings to the cabbage, 1 to 2 hours. Season well with salt and pepper and serve the cabbage piping hot.

Timing is Everything:

This dish can be assembled fully a few hours ahead and reheated gently just before serving.

SHOPPING LIST for Stewed Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

At-a-Glance Reminder of Ingredients

  • 1 large head red cabbage, any wilted outer leaves removed
  • 2/3 cup defatted, seasoned chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 generous tablespoon soy sauce (preferably Tamari)
  • 2/3 cup red currant jelly
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 generous tablespoons caraway seeds
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

From the produce aisle:

  • 1 large head red cabbage

From the supermarket shelf:

  • Canned chicken broth (only if not using homemade stock)
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy sauce (preferably tamari)
  • Red currant jelly
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Caraway seeds
  • Salt (preferably Kosher)
  • Black pepper (preferably freshly ground)

From the dairy case:

  • Unsalted butter
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