Looking for a festive holiday side dish? One my favorite winter sides is my dad's sweet and sour red cabbage. The following recipe takes that Austrian standard up a notch with the addition of apples, onions, bacon, and roasted chestnuts. So good! Pretty too.
Braised red cabbage with chestnuts is a traditional accompaniment to roast goose, but if goose isn't on your menu it also works great alongside a pork roast or even prime rib. You can easily make ahead and reheat to serve.
Braised Red Cabbage with Chestnuts
- 2 strips thick-cut bacon (about 3 ounces) cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red cabbage head, about 2 pounds, quartered, tough core removed, quarters sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 large green tart apple
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces canned or jarred roasted chestnuts (NOT water chestnuts), roughly chopped
Cook the bacon:
Cook the bacon batons slowly in a large sauté pan (with cover) on medium low heat until most of the fat has rendered out, and the bacon is lightly browned, not crisp.
Add the sliced onions, increase the heat of the pan to medium high and cook, stirring often, until the onions have softened and lightly browned.
Add cabbage, apples, vinegars, sugar:
While the onions are cooking, peel the apple and cut it into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Once the onions are ready, add the sliced cabbage, chopped apple, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. Carefully toss to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, lower the heat, and simmer until the cabbage is cooked through and soft, about 40 minutes.
Uncover the pan. Add the chopped roasted chestnuts. Add salt and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to boil off excess moisture for a few minutes.