Easy Cook: Braised Red Cabbage

In general, it doesn’t seem like a nursing home dining room would be the place where a person would encounter fine gourmet.  But on a visit to my mother’s retirement center some time ago, the residents were served Braised Red Cabbage. The cabbage was finely shredded, tender, just a little sweet and seasoned just right. It was divine and I’ve been trying to duplicate the recipe ever since.  

I have found a recipe which comes close. Not exactly like the retirement home recipe but it’s pretty good. In fact, I think I could eat this cabbage dish every day.  It does not have the strong aroma that yellow cabbage has and it is much more tender. I’ll say it again — divine.

Easy Cook

The nice thing about this recipe is that there are only three main ingredients: red cabbage, a sweet white onion and balsamic vinegar.

Just thinly slice the onion and shred the cabbage. Then saute the onion in oil until limp, add balsamic vinegar, saute several minutes longer, add more vinegar, add the cabbage, salt and pepper and toss, then braise with a tight fitting lid for an hour or two over low heat. The cabbage makes liquid as it cooks. Just leave the pot alone and.go on to being busy doing something else.

The most difficult step is cutting the cabbage into fine shreds. To save on washing pots and pans, I didn’t use a food processor. Additionally, it is difficult to obtain an even shred using a food processor. So I’ll practice on technique using a kitchen knife. And the finer the cabbage is shredded, the better.

I served the cabbage with a grilled flat iron steak — not something you’d find in a retirement home, but along with the cabbage it made a tasty supper.

Easy Cook: Braised Red Cabbage

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 large red cabbage
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet, white onion
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Method and Steps:

  1. Quarter the red cabbage and core. Cut thinly crosswise into fine strips. Place in a pot of cold water and set aside.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the white onion.
  3. Add vegetable oil to large Dutch oven or heavy large pot and heat over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir. Saute until the onion is limp, 5 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup balsamic oil and stir to combine. Continue to cook 2 –  3 minutes longer and cook until slightly reduced. Add the remainder 1/4 cup vinegar.
  5. Reduce heat to low. Drain the cabbage. Add half the cabbage, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Then add the remainder of the cabbage, salt and pepper and toss additionally.
  6. Cover with tight fitting lid and cook over low heat for 1 to 1-1/2 hour. Occasionally lift lid and stir.

And spring is on it’s way with a pretty little  pansy gracing my garden.

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