Braised Red Cabbage (Rotkohl)
The easiest mistake you can make when cooking rotkohl is to under-acidulate; that is, to use too little red wine vinegar and red wine. My basic rule of thumb is, when you lift the lid on the pot after cooking, a huge, toxic acid cloud should roll out. If you can't breathe the steam, it's just right.
With spaetzle, this is the perfect accompaniment to saurbraten.
  1. Wash cabbage and cut lengthwise into quarters. Slice out the hard white core and discard. Lay cabbage on the flat cut side and carefully slice into long, thin shred (don't chop). Dice the onion and the bacon. Core and dice (but don't peel) the apple.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat cook bacon until half cooked. Add onion and sugar; cook onion until soft. Add cabbage and stir until coated with sugar and fat.
  3. Add the chicken stock and the apples; bring to a boil. Add the vinegar, wine and spices. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cover and cook in a slow oven (300°) until done, about an hour. The cabbage should be soft and have a very piquant, zingy taste -- add more vinegar, wine and seasonings if desired.