A red cabbage - Flemish style - recipe, where cabbage is slowly cooked with apples and spices. Traditionally eaten with mashed potatoes and sausages, but also very good on a slice of pain au levain w/ walnuts, some good cheese, and a glass of high quality beer. Belgian of course!
red cabbage, Flemish style
by Ruth Van Waerebeek, p.208)
1 medium red cabbage
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 red currant jelly or 1 additional tbs sugar or honey
2 tbs cider vinegar
1/4 cup water, + additional if needed
1 tbs dark brown sugar or honey
pinch of ground cinnamon or 2 whole cloves
salt + freshly ground black pepper
4 tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1. Discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the head into quarters and remove the white core. Shred the cabbage into very thin slivers.
2. Melt the butter in a large heavy Dutch oven. Add the cabbage, onion, currant jelly, vinegar, water, sugar, cinnamon, and a little salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. reduce the heat immediately and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Add the apples and continue simmering for 1 hour, checking from time to time to see that it is not too dry. Add a little more water if necessary. At the end of the cooking time, the cabbage should be tender, the apples reduced to a puree, and all the liquid absorbed. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Note: Do not rinse the cabbage. Discard the outer leaves and wipe with a damp cloth if necessary. Rinsing, blanching, or boiling will fade the deep red color.
Variations: In step 2, cut 3 oz slab bacon into thin strips. Render the bacon strips in the Dutch oven and continue with the recipe, omitting the butter.