Terrific with roast pork, roast duck, or roast goose
2 heads of red cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds each)
4 Red Delicious apples (you may substitute other types)
1 quart dry red wine
3 medium-large onions
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup red-wine vinegar
4 coriander seeds
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. Cut the cabbages in half lengthwise. Remove the cores, and slice cabbages in thin strips. Peel the apples, cut them in quarters, core them, and rub them with 1 lemon, quartered. Reserve apple quarters. Put the peels and cores of the apples in a saucepan with the red wine and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, remove from heat, and reserve.
2. Peel the onions and slice thin. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy stew pot over high heat. Add the sliced onion and the sugar, stirring well. Sauté, stirring, for about 15 minutes, or until the onion is dark brown but not burned. Add the sliced red cabbage, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, and cook until dry, about 5 minutes.
3. Pour the red wine through a strainer over the cabbage. Bring to a boil. Add the coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, thyme, and the juice of the remaining lemon. Taste for seasoning. Cover, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. (Check once or twice to make sure the cabbage doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.)
4. When the cabbage is almost done, cut the reserved apple quarters into 4 slices per quarter. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over high heat. When the sizzling stops, add the apple slices. Cook for a few minutes, or until the apples are nicely browned on the outside and just tender inside.
5. Remove cabbage from oven, and toss with cooked apples. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
There are two major schools of red-cabbage-cooking: quick-cooking to keep the cabbage crunchy, and long-cooking to develop maximum flavor. Because red cabbage does not turn stinky after long cooking, as green cabbage does, we favor the latter method. To keep things fresh-tasting, the cabbage is cooked with acidic ingredients; this also helps retain color. The sweet apple added late in the game provides a delightful taste and texture contrast in this dish; it is terrific with roast pork, roast duck, or roast goose. Serves 8 as a side dish