Cabbage is the autumn vegetable par excellence. For many vegetables, the months between summer and winter are the time to retreat, but cabbage is now making it big. That means for us that we make him the main actor. Last week, green cabbage was the focus here, now it's red cabbage. An excellent vegetable, rich in iron and vitamin C and keeps for up to three weeks. We have just cooked 20 kilos so that it can soon be on our menu. (In the next episode we will deal with the goose that often accompanies the red cabbage.) You can tell that the head of red cabbage that you hold in your hand at the market or in the shop is a good specimen by the fact that that the leaves are firm and dull; they must not shine under any circumstances.
Red cabbage doesn't need meat to be effective. It is also excellent as a salad. Simply cut into strips and then marinate, for example with sugar, raspberry vinegar and grape seed oil. Be careful when cutting: red cabbage stains just as badly as beetroot, it is best to wear gloves when cutting, otherwise you will remember the day you prepared red cabbage for a long time. Combine the marinated red cabbage with nuts, goat cheese and fruits such as apples, pears or oranges - wonderful. Do you like red cabbage the oriental way? (Doner kebab sandwich without red cabbage - unimaginable.) Then spice it up with cardamom and cinnamon. A first-class red cabbage salad can also be prepared with mango, figs and feta.
Marinating red cabbage is essential, even if you plan to cook it. However, you should plan some time for it. The longer the marinating time, the more intense the flavor and the easier it is to preserve. For example, we let him soak in the marinade for seven days. Don't worry, you don't need to be that patient. 48 hours is also fine, but that would be the minimum time from our point of view.
You bought red cabbage and want to cook it? Then proceed as follows: For four people you need one kilogram of red cabbage, 150 grams of lard, 200 grams of finely diced onions, 200 grams of diced apples (like Elstar or Boskop), 200 grams of currant jelly, 400 milliliters of vegetable broth, 250 milliliters of red wine and 80 milliliters red wine vinegar. Also: a spice bag filled with a bay leaf, two cloves, a piece of cinnamon stick and five each of allspice and juniper berries. Tie up the bag. Alternatively, you can also use a coffee or tea filter.
Briefly boil the red wine, vinegar and jelly together with the spice bag. Place the red cabbage in a bowl, pour over the liquid and mix with your hands (don't forget gloves). Cover and leave in a dark, cool place for two to three days. Next you need a large wide pot. Melt the lard in it over medium heat. Add onions and apple pieces. Sweat both well. Then add the red cabbage and the vegetable broth. Let the whole thing simmer with the lid on for about 40 minutes. Stir every ten minutes to prevent burning.
After the 40 minutes, remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, and simmer over medium heat for another 15 to 20 minutes. Is the result too fluid for you? Then continue to boil down or thicken with cornstarch. Finally, season again with salt and pepper and remove the spice bags. Leave to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for a day or two. Voila. How to prepare red cabbage.
Like kale, red cabbage has something in common with stew: the more often you heat it up, the better it tastes. So it is best not to do too little, otherwise there will be nothing left to warm up. It goes perfectly with roast goose or pork. If you prefer it vegetarian, then replace the lard with clarified butter or oil.
Walter Stemberg and his son Sascha run the "Haus Stemberg" restaurant in Velbert, whose star in the "Guide Michelin" restaurant guide was confirmed for the ninth year in a row. The Stembergs write about the basics of cooking in WELT AM SONNTAG. All episodes online: www.welt.de/kochschule