Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
Traditionally, this dish is served throughout Scandinavia as part of the smorgasbord or Christmas dinner, but it seems (to me, at least) equally at home in a Thanksgiving spread. The apples dissolve, leaving a sweetness that is balanced by the tartness of the vinegar; to emphasize one element or the other, add either the (sweet) jelly or the (astringent) red wine. Kind of like cranberry sauce, this dish is a nice counterpoint to the heaviness of the rest of the meal.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: About 1 hour
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 medium head of red cabbage, about 2 pounds, cored and shredded
2 apples, preferably Cortland or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1⁄4 cup black or red currant jelly or red wine, optional
1. Combine the butter, sugar, and vinegar with a large pinch of salt and a sprinkling of pepper in a large deep skillet with a lid over medium heat. Bring to a boil.
2. Add the cabbage, stirring to coat. When the cabbage begins to glisten and soften a bit, add the apple pieces and stir. Reduce the heat to medium- low and simmer, covered, until the cabbage is soft, about 45 minutes.
3. Stir in the currant jelly or wine if you’re using it. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve.