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braised purple cabbage

German Braised Purple Cabbage

German Braised Purple Cabbage or Rotkohl or Blaukraut: traditional side for German Fleisch Rouladen. A delicious, nutritious and economical vegetable side.
Course Side
Cuisine German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 -10 servings
Author Valerie Lugonja via Margaret Bose Johnson


  • 2 tablespoons butter (or more!)
  • 1 tart apple (Granny Smith), peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium onion , sliced
  • 1/2 large purple cabbage (about 2 pounds), shredded and chopped (2 inch pieces)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water , and more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)


  1. Place onion and apple into heavy pan with butter; saute until translucent
  2. Add cabbage; saute at medium heat, stirring often, until soft (about 15 minutes)
  3. Add bay leaves, cloves, brown sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and 1/4 cup water;
  4. Place lid on heavy pan; braise or simmer slowly for 45 minutes to an hour, checking to replenish water only to avoid sticking on bottom of pan
  5. When done, season to taste, stir well to combine and serve immediately

Freezing Braised Cabbage

  1. Freezes really well and can be made ahead; thaw, heat and serve