Yes, I’m aware that Munich Oktoberfest officially ended on October 4th. But don’t you think that is just silly? To end in the middle of the week, on the fourth day of October, when the name of your fest is OKTOBERFEST??? I refuse to recognize the end of Oktoberfest and I’m officially prolonging the festivities with a week long of Oktoberfest themed dinners.
First up, braised red cabbage. Chris is half German on his mom’s side, and when we were living in China, I tried to make German-ish food a few times just to honor that side of our family’s heritage. And besides, braised red cabbage is good anytime. It’s hard to believe that the humble cabbage, really, so common and not much to look at, is so addictive when cooked with a little wine, vinegar and brown sugar. A little sweet, a little sour, a little savory, wow, really it hits most of the major taste buds all at once, so no wonder it’s so delicious.
Braised red cabbage takes a teensy bit of forethought, because you want it to braise for about an hour, but the prep work is almost nil and it’s SO easy to get delicious results. You could even make it the day ahead and let it continue to develop flavors overnight, and then heat it up the next day. And making it on your own is HUNDREDS, THOUSANDS, no GAZILLIONS of times better than getting it out of a jar. You don’t have to save it for a special occasion like Oktoberfest, either. Just serve it up with a leg of chicken grilled on the BBQ and a green salad for some freshness. Yum, what an easy but mouthwatering meal.
OR, you could go really German and serve it with some roast beef or wienerschnitzel and a buttery side of spaetzle (you can buy dried spaetzle from specialty food stores, and cook them just like dry pasta. Dried spaetzle is ok, jarred red cabbage AIN’T).
Or, you could just grab a bowl of cabbage and eat that for your dinner. The thought had crossed my mind.
Wine-Braised Red Cabbage
1 small-medium head of red cabbage, shredded
1 medium onion
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
1. Dice up the onion. Heat (medium heat) about 2 tablepoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to accommodate all the cabbage. Add onion and cook about 3 minutes until onion is softened.
2. Add the shredded red cabbage to the pot and stir with a wooden spoon until cabbage is coated with oil. Add red wine. When the bubbling dies down, turn heat down to low.
3. Add the vinegar, sugar, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
4. Cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour, until cabbage is tender. Adjust seasonings and serve.