My Recipe Box

Sweet-Sour Red Cabbage

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Serves 6

Yields 5 cups.

  • by Ris Lacoste from Fine Cooking
    Issue 75

I love this as a side dish because its sweet flavors go so well with my recipe for Mustard-Sage & Maple-Glazed Pork Roast and because the sour-tangy element highlights the flavors in the glaze.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 oz. applewood-smoked bacon (about 7 slices), cut into julienne (to yield 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 large yellow onion (12 oz.), thinly sliced (to yield 2 cups)
  • 1 small head red cabbage (about 2 lb.), cored, cut into eighths, and thinly sliced crosswise (to yield about 8 cups)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a 5- or 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat, add the bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 min. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly colored, about 3 min. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring regularly, until just wilted, about 5 min. Add the brown sugar and vinegar, stir well, and let cook until the cabbage is wilted but still has a bit of crunch left to it, about 5 minutes. Season with 3/4 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper. Adjust the acidity or sweetness with a touch more vinegar or sugar if you like, and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Make Ahead Tips

The cabbage will hold well, in the covered pot, for several hours.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on six servings; Calories (kcal): 250; Fat (g): 6; Fat Calories (kcal): 60; Saturated Fat (g): 1.5; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Carbohydrates (g): 46; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 400; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I've been making another Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage recipe for years (from an old Betty Crocker cookbook of mine). A very similar recipe, pretty much all the same ingredients although, the way it is assembled is different. Flour is added to thicken sauce to a glaze. It is added to the bacon fat before sugar and vinegar. The ratio for brown sugar to vinegar is 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup WHITE vinegar. So I can understand why others find this recipe way too sweet with a full cup of brown sugar. The version I make delivers a sweet sour side dish that in my taste is perfect. Not only does it go great with most anything including pork, it is also a staple on our table for Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinners. Try it with turkey, you will love it. Whenever I bring the Betty Crocker version anywhere, I'm begged for the recipe.

Very good but only if you reduce the sugar. I used 1/2 cup and it was nice, but may still be too sweet for some palates. I'd recommend starting with 1/3 of a cup and then adjusting upwards. Was very surprised to find the recipe required no additional salt at all! I also substituted Applegate Farm Turkey Bacon for pork bacon and increased the olive oil to 3 tablespoons.

I followed the recipe exactly and it was outstanding when served with the pork loin roast. I agree it is sweet so I would not want to eat it with anything else as a side dish, but with the pork, it is a perfect compliment and easily replaces a chutney or applesauce.

Candied cabbage! My instincts said 1 cup of sugar was too much-I should have listened to my inner cook. 2/3 cup of dark brown sugar would have plenty.

1 cup of sugar??!! I added only 3/4 cups of sugar and found it cloyingly, almost inedibly sweet.

Very easy to make and tastes great ! It goes very well with pork.

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