Traditional German Rotkohl (Sweet/Sour Red Cabbage)

Traditional German Rotkohl (Sweet/Sour Red Cabbage)

  • 1 1/2 pounds red cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 large Granny Smith or other semi-tart apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons red currant jam, or cherry preserves (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour (gluten free and paleo: omit)
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the onions until caramelized and just beginning to brown, 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the apple, broth, bay leaf, cloves, juniper berries, red currant jam, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if needed.
  4. Combine the flour and water until dissolved and stir into the Rotkohl. Simmer for another minute. Add more salt, sugar and vinegar to taste.

Cook’s Notes

Traditionally served with roasts, Rouladen, Sauerbraten and potatoes, Spaetzle or Knoedel.


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