Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

This cold weather dish, perfect with pork, duck or game, gives a burst of color on the plate.


8 people


  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of red cabbage, about 2 pounds, quartered, cored and sliced across thinly
  • 2 large cooking apples, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar (not balsamic)
  • ½ cup fresh cider
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (or sugar)
  • 4 juniper berries, crushed (optional)


In a very large pan or pot with cover, fry the bacon until brown and crisp. Remove the bacon, drain it on a paper towel, and reserve. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, saving the dark bits.
Stir in the onion and over moderate heat brown it lightly. Add the cabbage, apples, vinegar, cider, honey and juniper berries. Cook the ingredients, stirring to moisten them all in the liquid on the bottom and letting the cabbage fall apart and settle in the pan, about 15 minutes.
With the top askew so that the liquid can evaporate, let the cabbage cook over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Make sure it doesn’t dry out (add a little water if needed.) When the cabbage is tender and the liquid nearly gone, it is ready. Taste it for balance of sweet and sour, adding more honey (or sugar) if necessary.
Crumble the reserved bacon into bits and stir it in.
Serve the dish hot or warm.


Edible Boston Magazine, Winter 2009