Braised Red Cabbage a la Top Chef – on a budget

With yesterday’s AMAZING Brussels sprouts slaw, it seems to be Cruciferous Veggie Week around here. Perhaps some broccoli and cauliflower coming up?  Anyway, on to today’s recipe from the archives. It doesn’t sound very sexy, but I thought it was just delicious. I adapted this from a Top Chef recipe, in fact! I saw contestant Stefan Richter (kind of the villain of the show, but undeniably talented) from the most recent season make this and was intrigued by the concept. So I snagged Stefan’s original recipe from the Bravo site, did a little tinkering, omitting more expensive ingredients like rendered duck fat, and simplifying it a bit, and voila.


1/4 cup butter (or olive oil, if vegan)
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium red cabbage or half of one very large head, shredded
2 tart apples, diced
2 sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup red currant jelly
salt and pepper to taste

I shredded the cabbage in my Cuisinart – it was enough to fill the work bowl completely. Melt butter or heat oil in a large, deep, heavy pan or dutch oven. Add onion and sweat for about 5 minutes, until softened and getting a little color. Add sugar, vinegar, red wine, and salt; bring to a boil.

Add cabbage and toss to coat. Once cabbage begins to soften, stir in apples, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and cloves. Lower heat to medium-low and let simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Stir in currant jelly. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

Thanks, Stefan!

One thing to note: I found that this actually does NOT hold up very well overnight in the refrigerator. It’s not terrible, but it’s not as good as it was fresh and certainly doesn’t gain anything. I do recommend serving & eating it immediately.

— posted by Anne


  1. Danielle Donohue says

    It was nice to see this recipe up. I was raised eating something very similar and as an adult modified my mother’s recipe (omitting bacon fat). I’ll now look forward to trying it with jelly, wine or cinnamon. I found it interesting that you found it didn’t hold up overnight. Mom always said it tasted better the second day! I’ve always accepted that as a given- next time I’ll pay more attention to my leftovers. It may be a difference in cooking time/method.

  2. says

    Sounds like a great recipe.Other optional additions I use in my Red Cabbage are rendered bacon fat and fresh apple juice to enhance the flavor.

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