sweet & sour red cabbage recipe for canning?

led_zep_rules(5 WI)October 28, 2006

Hi, does anybody have a good recipe for the German/Bohemian sort of red cabbage that could be described as sweet and sour? I want to can it BWB. Anyway it definitely has both vinegar and sugar in it. Hubby thinks caraway seed, too, and I find that in a few recipes. But most of the recipes I have found by googling are weird, like have apples or raisins or something in them. Apples would be okay, but I never noticed them being in the stuff I have eaten.

Please advise before the cabbage in the basement rots!

Thanks, Marcia

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readinglady(z8 OR)

Joy of Pickling has a pickled red cabbage. I haven't tried it but the batch is small enough you could give it a shot without much risk. Lots of spices in this, but of course they could be reduced or eliminated if you want something plainer.

2 1/4 lbs. trimmed red cabbage, shredded
1 T. pickling salt
1/2 tsp. whole cloves
1/2 tsp. blade mace (preferred) or small pieces nutmeg
1/2 tsp. whole allspice
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/2 ts. celery seeds
One 1-inch cinnamon stick
1 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
4 tsp. mustard seeds (yellow)

Toss cabbage with salt. Cover and let stand in a cool place 8-12 hours.

Combine vinegar, sugar and mustard seeds in a nonreactive pan. Tie other spices in a spice bag and add them. Bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool.

Drain cabbage thoroughly then pack into two pint jars. Pour cooled liquid over cabbage. Divide evenly between the two jars and if there isn't enough to cover the cabbage, top off with vinegar. Close jars and process BWB 20 minutes. Store at least 3 weeks before eating.

I hope you do try this, Marcia, and let us know the results. Sounds interesting.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 1:15AM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

I've always made sweet & sour red cabbage with apples and raisins. The apple disappears, btw, which may be why you haven't noticed it. And the raisins are optional.

The Ball Blue Book has a recipe for spiced red cabbage you can try. I didn't care for it, myself.

FWIW, here is my recipe:

2 tbls butter or oil
3/4 cup chopped onions
6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple, diced
3/4 cup apple juice or cider
1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp whole fennel seeds
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp caraway seeds
3 tbls cider vinegar
1 tbls honey

Saute onions in oil or butter until lightly browned. Add cabbage and continue to saute for 5-10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients except honey.

Cook on low heat, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cabbage will be greatly reduced in volume. Cabbage and onions become sweeter the longer they simmer, so taste first, then add the honey and more vinegar if needed.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 7:10AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I missed that one, gardenlad, though I don't use the BBB as often as other sources. Seems the dill, the fennel and caraway would conflict. Was that your impression?


    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 3:38PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

I've never found fennel and caraway to conflict, particularly. In fact, I added the caraway to the above, along with the apple.

I would have guessed that the dill would conflict with the others, but it doesn't seem to. We make it fairly often, and the dill is not particularly assertive. Chances are if it were left out it wouldn't be missed.

In the BBB recipe I suspect it was the amount of vinegar (2 quarts worth), as well as taste conflicts among the spices, that did it. We had several people sample it, and nobody who tried it much cared for it. We wound up dumping it---and I dearly hate to waste food.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 4:55PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I was just wondering. I love fennel, but for years I didn't care for caraway at all. I think part of it was I was never exposed to it when at home and my first attempts used bottled caraway that really wasn't very fresh. Once I found the "good stuff" I was a convert.

Actually I was "traumatized" by caraway as a fledgling bride, LOL. I tried a beef stew recipe with burgundy and generous amounts of caraway. What was I thinking??? I knew nothing about wine, so no telling what it was I bought and the caraway made the recipe truly awful. That whole batch got tossed, and on our budget throwing away all that wasted meat was truly painful.

Dill, fennel and caraway seeds as a bread topping is hard to beat.

I checked the BBB version you mentioned. You're probably right about the vinegar, though I'd delete the celery seed in that particular recipe. Not sure why, just a thought.

There are a number of BBB recipes I've tried lately I haven't been wild about. I'm beginning to wonder if their recipe developers are good scientists, but not necessarily good cooks.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 6:21PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

>Dill, fennel and caraway seeds as a bread topping is hard to beat. Especially on a nice rye.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 9:52PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

The place that gives me free produce called today several times, I wound up getting about 50 cases of peaches and nectarines plus all sorts of other stuff like peppers, canteloupe, carrot slices, etc. Good thing I am strong, I carried most of the boxes myself. Gave most of them away already via freecycle, although hubby and I canned 11 pints of peachy salsa tonight, it is delicious. So haven't gotten to the cabbage yet, but hope to later this week.

I love caraway so will be sure to put some of that in my sweet and sour cabbage. Hubby is allergic to both cinnamon and nutmeg, and I don't like mustard, so hopefully I can skip all those and not miss them. As suggested I will make something up and try eating it before I can a bunch of it.

Thanks for your recipes and advice!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 1:06AM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

Carol, I loved your reference to the new bride and those painful mistakes. When I married, I could cook fried eggs and that's about it. Learning to fix white rice was a huge accomplishment and we had bowls and bowls of it - plain and dry.
I'm really sold on caraway, mostly in slaws and cabbage dishes or breads, but it's such an intense nice flavor. Many of the things, like mustard and apple, disappears in the recipe but it works with other things to create a nice blend that's too intrusive without those ingredients.

I had a great crop of red cabbage this year but have taken most of it to the food pantry. Truly glad to find something worthwhile to do with it.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2006 at 7:45AM
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