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Danish Christmas red cabbage recipe

Danish Christmas red cabbage recipe


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  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

In Denmark it is traditional to serve a cooked pickled red cabbage for the Christmas Eve dinner. This is my mum's, and it is so easy to make and will be a great side dish to any roast duck, turkey or goose. When reheating, I like to add a tablespoon of black currant jam to enhance the flavour.

63 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 1 small red cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 400g sugar
  • 500ml vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 750ml water

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Place the cabbage in a large saucepan, and stir in the sugar, vinegar, salt and water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over medium heat for 1 hour. This can be served immediately, or chilled and reheated later in smaller portions.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(74)

Reviews in English (59)

Just like Farmor used to make it-23 Dec 2016

Tried the Chritmas Red Cabbage recipe. Fantastic and so easy to do.x-10 Oct 2016

Really enjoyed the taste of this, and will use again-31 May 2014


Danish Christmas Red Cabbage recipes

This red cabbage recipe is a tangy addition to meals, and it's quite easy to prepare. Note t. ( more )

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The ingredients list leaves out the amount of water, so I just matched the amount of vinegar initially. Otherwise, ɻout as good as good gets. We use this primarily for a really quick winter dinner. Cabbage in the skillet, along with one medium to large yellow onion peeled, sliced thin, then cut the rings in half and mix with the cabbage. Add a few juniper berries (optional). Slice a kielbasa or similar long sausage into about 8 pieces or so and arrange around the rim of the skillet, then place small white/red potatoes, sliced in half or not, in the center. Cover, bring to a quick boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes. Serve with some really good mustard cranberry mustard with this is slap-yo-mama good!

My in-Laws are Danish, I have been making this dish for 25 years, all year around (We make Danish open face sandwiches). I make it 5 /10 days in advance, it gets better after few days. I use ½ water, ½ vinegar, few whole peppercorns, few bay leaves and a cup of sour cherry syrup. I follow the recipe as above. Enjoy.

Made this dish as part of a traditional Danish Christmas dinner. I did not include the apples. All I can say is wow! Normally, I'm not really a fan of red cabbage, but this dish was addictive! I was fighting my husband for the last of the leftovers! The red currant jelly can be difficult to find, but don't leave it out!

Although this is good, it is spectacular, if you add a whole brown onion studded with cloves while cooking. Put in several apples, (peeled and sliced)and remove onion before serving.

My partner is Danish and he says this is exactly as his grandmother used to make. I use equal amounts water and vinegar and leave out the apples. I can never keep my fork out of it while it is cooking, though!!

Turned out great! That is, I loved it, but my husband, a southern pinto beans and cornbread type of guy, passed on it completely after a taste. I used strawberry fig jam. Good flavor if you like the sweet. Might have used a tad more vinegar if more of a sour flavour was desired.

this recipe was very tasty , however there is water mentioned in the directions and no amount is specified. I used 1/2 cup and ended up adding about a 1/4 cup more.

I tripled this recipe for a dinner party and I thought it was excelllent. I did need to add more vinegar and sugar to achieve a good sweet, sour taste.


A Taste of Family History

Although you are certainly not required to have Danish ancestry to enjoy this delicious dish, knowing this is a food some of your ancestors enjoyed certainly makes it feel more authentic. One reader commented that they’ve always enjoyed Red Danish Cabbage, along with other Danish foods, as traditional Christmas Eve fare. Exposing your family to food from another country and culture can be an excellent way to broaden their horizons and pique their interest in learning even more.


My Danish Kitchen

With the holidays quickly approaching it’s time to revisit some classic Danish dishes. Rødkål is a side dish that is always on the table for Christmas dinners and luncheons but of course it is also served at other times. For me though, the sweet and sour aroma with a hint of cloves in the background reminds me of Christmas and it will perfume your house in the most warm and pleasant of ways. The dish itself is very quick and easy to assemble and the remainder of the time is spent simmering away on the stove.

Sliced red cabbage ready for cooking

I have been experimenting with this recipe for some time now and I finally got it right (that’s according to my tastebuds of course :)). The traditional way to make Rødkål is to use Ribssaft (Red Currant juice) but it’s impossible to find it in any of the stores around here, so I am substituting it with 100% Pomegranate juice.

The first time I made Rødkål the ratio of vinegar to pomegranate juice was off with too much vinegar. The second time I could not find any pomegranate juice so I used cranberry juice instead…bad idea. It left a really dry taste in my mouth. In the meantime, my parents came to visit and they brought real Ribssaft with them but it was confiscated going through customs. (Still unclear as to why they couldn’t bring it in, maybe the size of the bottle?) Anyway, two cabbage heads later and with real pomegranate juice and less vinegar, we finally have a winner!

Ingredients:

1 deciliter apple cider vinegar (3.4 oz.)

2 deciliter pomegranate juice (or red currant juice = ribssaft) (6.8 oz.)

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Atamon for rinsing glasses

Remove outer leaves of cabbage, cut into quarters, remove the tough white core and discard. Slice cabbage into desired thickness. Place cabbage into cooking pot and add vinegar, juice, sugar, salt and ground cloves. Let it simmer covered for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking time add the butter and gently stir until melted. If cabbage is to be used fairly quickly, simply just sterilize jars and lids with boiling water. If cabbage is intended for storing away, rinse jars and lids with Atamon. Store in cool, dark place. Enjoy!


Danish Red Cabbage Recipe

Growing up, my mom would serve red cabbage with a lot of our meals especially when she served pork. Pork roasts, pork chops, leftover pork with potatoes and onions. Didn’t matter, there was always a serving of red cabbage on the side.

Fortunately for me, I liked the taste of the sweet and tart flavors of her red cabbage but now that I think back, I don’t remember my mom ever making red cabbage from scratch. As far back as I can remember, it always came from a jar.

Where she purchased these jars of red cabbage is a mystery to me. My recollection is the labels were in Danish so either she shopped at Scandinavian store near us (doubtful), she brought it back with her from her many trips to Denmark or she purchased an American brand of red cabbage.

Making Your Own Red Cabbage

I thought it would be fun to prepare my own Danish red cabbage and found this recipe in Trina Hahnemann’s The Scandinavian Cookbook. Chef Trina is a well know Danish chef and food writer and was nice enough to do an interview with me. See Interview with Trina Hahnemann.

What I didn’t know about red cabbage is how red currant jelly is used to help give it its dark red coloring. In looking at other recipes for Danish red cabbage, I noticed a lot of them included apples but this one doesn’t and I’m not sure why. It seems to me the apples help give the dish some of its tartness. I’ll make them optional.

Chef Trina’s recipe also calls for duck fat, an item that is not always easy to find in your local supermarket. I substituted butter but I’m sure the duck fat version is incredible.


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  • 1 small red cabbage, finely sliced, about 1.5 lbs
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup blackcurrant cordial or redcurrant jelly diluted in water
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tbsp wine vinegar
  • A few whole cinnamon sticks, star anise, allspice berries, or other warm spices
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Add all ingredients to a covered dutch oven or saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to a simmer.
  2. Simmer on low for at least an hour, but preferably 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add water periodically to be sure the pot always has about 1/2 inch at the bottom.
  3. Once the cabbage is cooked, remove the lid and turn up the heat. Cook without a lid until almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Check seasoning, and adjust sweet/sour balance by adding vinegar or sugar to your taste.

Danish Red Cabbage Recipe

Growing up, my mom would serve red cabbage with a lot of our meals especially when she served pork. Pork roasts, pork chops, leftover pork with potatoes and onions. Didn’t matter, there was always a serving of red cabbage on the side.

Fortunately for me, I liked the taste of the sweet and tart flavors of her red cabbage but now that I think back, I don’t remember my mom ever making red cabbage from scratch. As far back as I can remember, it always came from a jar.

Where she purchased these jars of red cabbage is a mystery to me. My recollection is the labels were in Danish so either she shopped at Scandinavian store near us (doubtful), she brought it back with her from her many trips to Denmark or she purchased an American brand of red cabbage.

Making Your Own Red Cabbage

I thought it would be fun to prepare my own Danish red cabbage and found this recipe in Trina Hahnemann’s The Scandinavian Cookbook. Chef Trina is a well know Danish chef and food writer and was nice enough to do an interview with me. See Interview with Trina Hahnemann.

What I didn’t know about red cabbage is how red currant jelly is used to help give it its dark red coloring. In looking at other recipes for Danish red cabbage, I noticed a lot of them included apples but this one doesn’t and I’m not sure why. It seems to me the apples help give the dish some of its tartness. I’ll make them optional.

Chef Trina’s recipe also calls for duck fat, an item that is not always easy to find in your local supermarket. I substituted butter but I’m sure the duck fat version is incredible.


Rødkål (Sweet and Sour Braised Red Cabbage)

  • 1 head of red cabbage (1 kg)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (100 ml) blackcurrant juice concentrate (solbærsaft)*
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (100 ml) apple juice
  • ½ dl (3 tablespoons) apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut the cabbage in half, removing the core. Chop both of the halves of the cabbage finely. You can also chop the cabbage, bit by bit, in a food processor.

Place the butter in a large pot and melt over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a small boil. Lower the heat and place a lid on the pot.

Allow the cabbage to slowly simmer for 2-3 hours with the lid on, stirring once and awhile. Check the flavor toward the end of the cooking process and feel free to add more vinegar or more honey or juice to your liking.

When the cabbage has softened, take off the lid and turn the heat up bringing the cabbage to a boil again. Stir frequently and, after a couple of minutes, all of the juices should evaporate and form a slight glaze on the cabbage. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Rødkål tends to deepen in flavor the longer it sits and is even better the next day. You can refrigerate for a couple of days.

*If you don’t have access to blackcurrant cordial, use red wine instead and add a little more honey.



Comments:

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  2. Tobei

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  3. Eugen

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