Red Cabbage Recipe

Ingredients for 4 people:


- 4 pounds (2 kg) bottled or canned red cabbage

- 7 ounces (200 ml ) ordinary red wine

- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) goose fat. If you cannot get goose fat, use half a tablespoon butter and half a tablespoon oil, but goose fat is better. In France and Germany one can buy it in all the larger food stores.

- 2 apples

- 4 bay leaves

- 6 cloves





Preparation Time: 20 Minutes

Cooking Time: 6 hours






  • Put all the ingredients, except for the apples, into a pot.

  • Peel and core the apples. Cut the flesh of the apple into small pieces (half an inch square) and add to the pot.

  • Put the pot on low heat (light simmer), so that the water in the pot evaporates. Leave the pot on low heat, stirring occasionally (perhaps every half hour) until almost all the liquid is evaporated.

  • When the liquid is almost completely evaporated, turn the heat off and allow to cool. If you've started this in the morning, you can allow to cool during the afternoon. If you've started in the evening, you can allow to cool over night.

  • After the pot contents have completely cooled, put the pot back on low heat and continue evaporation until there is no liquid at the bottom of the pot. During this time, the red cabbage will have turned from a pale pink to a dark purple.




This is the best recipe I've found for red cabbage, and it is far tastier than the other versions I've had (both in home-cooked meals and good restaurants). However, few people do it this traditional way due to the time it takes. The amount of work isn't much, but one does have to be around to stir occasionally to ensure that the cabbage at the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.


The secret of this recipe is the slow evaporation of all the excess liquid. During this period, the various ingredients slowly combine into a delicious feast.


One of the advantages of this recipe is that it keeps very well. You can prepare everything a day in advance. If you've made too much for one meal, you can also warm it up and it will still taste great the next day.


Before serving, you may wish to remove the bay leaves so that you guests won't have to pick them out.

About this recipe:

The recipes on this site are intended to be easy, and for the most part they are. However, there are a few recipes which are less easy but are still included as they are exceptionally good. This is one such recipe. Therefore, be warned, this recipe is time consuming to make and the ingredients may be difficult to find.

The recipe is from the Alsace region of France, which is famous throughout France for their sauerkraut (picked white cabbage), and is also known for a number of other Germanic type dishes (of which this is one). The reason for Alsace having many Germanic dishes is that for much of its history it was in fact part of Germany.

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