Sweet and Sour German Cabbage Grandma Would Love

My grandmother loved sweet and sour dishes. I’ve never been able to pull off a duplicate of her really delicious sweet and sour dandelion greens. Despite her almost all British Isles background, in northern Ohio where she lived, Germans immigrants have influenced the foods we ate for centuries, like this German cabbage.

My German cookbook does have a slew (or slaw?) of German cabbage recipes,among them this recipe for sweet and sour cabbage.  Not very photogenic, but you don’t want to waste time taking pictures when you could be eating, now do you?

German cabbage with raisins

German cabbage,  sweet and sour cabbage with raisins

I found this recipe because I bought a pretty little Savoy cabbage at the Farmer’s Market.  Savoy is the one with the ruffled leaves that curl out away from the main ball of the cabbage like an Elizabethan collar. It has a milder flavor, so is an easier sale with non-cabbage people.

The recipe is from the German cookbook that I keep on my Kindle. You can see a bit about The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton on my Cookbooks Page.  I just prop the Kindle up on the counter as I would a recipe card. Very handy.

So I spotted a recipe for Savoy cabbage in brown sauce that looked pretty good, but a few pages farther on, I saw an adaptation of that recipe that made a sweet and sour German cabbage dish.  I followed the recipe except for swapping vinegar for the called-for lemon juice.  Lemon would be delicious, but somehow I can’t picture German–or northern Ohio cooks having a lot of lemons around in the winter time when they were using up their cabbage. Likewise with the called-for white raisins. I used currants.

My husband turned up his nose when he heard I was making German cabbage for dinner, but lo and behold, he took one bite and pronounced it good!  Hope yours will be as successful.

German Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Wheat
Dietary Vegan
Meal type Side Dish
Misc Serve Hot
Region German
From book The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton
A favorite flavor for German recipes--sweet and sour--with a favorite German vegetable--cabbage.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of savoy cabbage
  • salt
  • 1 onion (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (Cooking liquid from the cabbage--see directions)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 pinch cloves
  • 1/2 cup currants (Or use raisins. Original recipe calls for white(golden) raisins.)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Cut cabbage in quarters, and remove tough outer leaves, hard core and any tough stems.
2. Bring to boil 4 cups water with a little salt, add cabbage and any loose leaves, reduce to fast simmer and cook for ten minutes.
3. Remove cabbage from pot and drain, reserving liquid.
4. Chop by hand or in food processor and drain again. Set aside
5. Melt butter in two-quart pan. Add onion and saute, stirring until onion turns brown.
6. Sprinkle in flour and continue stiring and sauteing until flour becomes a rich brown. Keep the heat low so it will not burn.
7. Stir in the two cups of cooking liquid from the cabbage and stir with whisk to keep it smooth as it thickens slightly.
8. Add vinegar, brown sugar, and cloves and simmer five minutes, stirring frequently.
9. Add cabbage back to pan, stir in raisins or currants and stir to combine with sauce and continue cooking slowly for ten more minutes. Taste and add more sugar or vinegar or salt or pepper if you wish.
10. Serve with sausage or a salty ham. Roasted potatoes would make a good side dish and applesauce or cooked apples are also good as a side with cabbage.

Note

As usual, I eliminated the onion in this recipe and thought that it was plenty tasty.
The sauce will not be thick, but smooth and satiny
Although I used the milder Savoy cabbage, the sauce will match up with any variety of cabbage.
I used the time when the cabbage was cooking to measure each ingredient for the sauce into small dishes, so everything was ready. Once you start cooking the sauce, you need to pay attention to it, so it does not clump or stick to the bottom of the pan.

 

Disclaimer: The book cover illustration is linked to Amazon for your convenience. You need to know that I am an Amazon affiliate, which means if you use my links and buy something, I get a few pennies to help support this site. Thanks.

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