Sunday, November 26, 2017

German Cuisine with a Dash of Canada from Victoria Hamilton!

Rotkohl… rot-what, you say? Rotkohl… all it means is red cabbage, but it’s the name of this delicious and pretty sidedish. As you may know, Jaymie Leighton (from my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries; Book #6, Leave it to Cleaver came out June 2017)  is now Jaymie Leighton Müller, having married the wonderful Jakob Müller. His family is German, (I have a German-born brother-in-law!) and so I’m sharing a hearty German recipe that freezes well; good thing, because… you will have extra!
1 medium to large head red cabbage, shredded. (You will get purple fingers unless you use gloves!!)
2 – 3 Tbsp butter or oil
1 large onion, diced
3 apples, cored, peeled and shredded or diced.
½ cup red wine (Optional – I didn’t use it and the recipe was just fine without it!)
3 Tbsp cider vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar!)
1 Tsp salt
1 - 2 – Tbsp Maple Syrup, less or more depending on your taste; I’d start with less. (There’s the Canada part! You can use a smaller amount of sugar ½ to 1 tblsp) but maple syrup is better…mmmm!)
½ Tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves (Optional! Only for those who like the spiciness cloves bring.)
¼ Tsp fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Cornstarch (Optional!)
Water… variable amount.

In a large pot heat the oil or butter, or combination. Sauté the onion.

Add the red cabbage and apples. Continue to sauté for several minutes.

Add 1 cup water, (this is when you add the red wine, if you’re using it) cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, nutmeg and pepper. Stir in. *By the way… interesting note… apparently you always add some acid to red cabbage (vinegar, lemon juice, etc) because otherwise it turns a weird bluish color… who knew?

Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer about 30 – 60 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Check occasionally to be sure it has not dried out; if it seems to be in danger of doing so, just add a bit more water! Mine took longer than this to reach a point where the hard ribs of the cabbage were tender.

Taste and season with more salt, cloves, pepper, syrup and vinegar as needed.

If you want a thicker sauce, mix about 2 tbsp of cornstarch with cold water and slowly stir in just enough to thicken red cabbage liquid.

Note: Traditionally Rotkohl is cooked down until it is very mushy, but you can adjust this for your preference. I like it somewhat textured, but very tender. I’ve made this dish twice. The first time was with a smaller, lighter weight red cabbage, and it cooked faster, but this time the ribs of the cabbage leaves were thicker and it took a lot more time. So… give it time. This beautiful dish freezes well for a quick vegetable another night. Just let it cool, put whatever you’re not using in a freezer bag, seal, flatten (so it will thaw quickly) and freeze.

Note #2: some of the traditional recipes I saw asked for juniper berries, but short of scouring the neighborhood for a juniper bush, (Perhaps while humming Jennifer Juniper – it’s a Donovan song… aaaand I’m showing my age.) I didn’t know where to find them. I’ve since learned you can buy them (online, if necessary) but most of the recipes don’t take them, so… I’ll pass.

Serve with: This is a great side dish that pairs well with sausage. I’ll be having mine with locally made maple garlic sausage! And it’s sooo pretty! If you like, you can sauté some bacon and heat up your leftover rotkohl in the frying pan! Bon Apetit, my friends, or, as they say in Germany, Guten Appetit, meine Freunde!

And now that you’re full… would you like a giveaway??
Comment here and you will be entered for a chance to win this cute mug (Have a Cozy Christmas!) a skull teaspoon (VERRRRY cool!) as well as a copy of Leave it to Cleaver with a Christmassy bookmark! Open to US and Canadian addresses. Comment before Midnight, November 30th!

And… don’t miss Jaymie and her gang next spring for No Grater Danger, out spring of 2018!
Check out my Website: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries or find me on Facebook: Author Victoria Hamilton



  1. Oh my gosh, that spoon is the awesomest! And I think we may give the rotkohl a try! I'm always looking for cabbage recipes that aren't sauerkraut, and this one sounds like a good one to test out. Thanks for sharing it! My email is

  2. Great dish; and thank you for hosting such a fabulous giveaway.

  3. I love sausage and cabbage dishes, so will add this one to my recipe collection. I probably would not cook the cabbage until it's mushy, though. Thanks for the recipe and the great giveaway!
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

  4. What a wonderful giveaway!
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

  5. Looks like a good recipe to try and a nice giveaway too. mjmphila at yahoo dot com

  6. I like German food...and will try this...thank you for the contest everything looks festive.

  7. This giveaway is awesome. I enjoy recipes from difficult countries. I am Ukrainian and try to stick to the Ukrainian traditional meals at Christmas time.

    cenya2 (at)hotmail (com)

  8. We were fortunate to live in Germany for awhile (nearly 30 yrs ago). Loved the food, including rotkohl. I will certainly be giving this recipe a try.

    Love mugs, love books.

    donna (dot) durnell (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

  9. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway and recipe.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. My husband would love this dish. I'll pick a weekend when I really like him and make it for him. (Jk...I like him all the time). Kkcochran (at) hotmail (dot) com

  12. Thanks for this recipe. It sounds delicious and something different from what I usually make. Good to know about the purple fingers!

    Thank you also for this giveaway!

  13. The recipe sounds amazing, Thanks for your generosity.

  14. This has become my new favourite blog! I can't wait to try this recipe.
    And I love the prize pack. I seek out a perfect new Christmas cup (and Christmas read) every year, and we just moved into our new home, so I wanted it to be extra special this year. These would be awesome! And that spoon is to die for!

    My email -

  15. I love German food! And this recipe sounds great. brichardson0056(at)yahoo(com)

  16. The recipe looks really enticing. I will certainly give it a try. And I love the giveaway. My email address is:

  17. What a wonderful giveaway! This recipe appeals to my German side of the family and, would definitely give it a try!

  18. Love love love cabbage! This looks great! And yes, we love the mushier versions. If you take the leftover cabbage on St. Patrick's day, mash it into a frying pan, smoosh the leftover potatoes into the same pan, and do a nice fry-up, it's colcannon. Cabbage is so good! <3

  19. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!! Happy Holidays!!! Thank you for the chance!!!

  20. Nice recipe but these days I'm careful how much cabbage I eat in any form, even cooked. LOL I'd love to win that package, especially that spoon. Tell the grandkids that I'm cooking up a meal to die for.

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. This should make our German food loving tummies happy. Thank you for the recipe and chance to win. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail dot com

  22. Looks delicious! Thanks for the chance. Maceoindo (at)yahoo(dot)com

  23. I LOVE cabbage!! Others in my family, not so much. Sigh. This looks so good, too!

    mysandycat (at) aol (dot) com

  24. Yummy! I love my Rotkohl mit Apfel, though I never made it myself. Sobeys has it in the international section, but not with maple syrup. As former Germans we always have it with mashed potato and sausage. Winning the package would be awesome for those long evenings that are ahead of us.

  25. Can't wait for the next book. Love the series. Also love the Rotkohl. duduerst(at)tds(dot)net

  26. I can honestly say that this is a recipe I have never tried. I know you're going to gag, but I would love to make this with veggie sausage(not much of a meat eater). I'll let you know how it turns out. Always searching for new things to try! Thank you. konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com

  27. The recipe sounds awesome--I must try that! Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Thanks for chance, the giveaway is great.

  29. I like cabbage and this sounds good. Thanks for the chance really want the spoon.

  30. I don't buy much cabbage, but this recipe looks worth a try!

  31. I think my dad would love to try this recipe. His dad's mother was from Germany. I really would love that skull teaspoon.

    cozyupwithkathy @ gmail dot com

  32. When I lived in Fredericksburg, Texas, I had cabbage with every restaurant meal since Fredericksburg was settled by Germans & continues to be a German community. The red cabbage is my favorite with sausage. I've never made red cabbage so this looks like a good recipe to get me started. Maybe I'll go wild & do schnitzel too!

  33. Thank you for your generous giveaway! Would regular cabbage work as well as red? The recipe is intriguing. I wonder if my non-cabbage folks will try it?
    Meg85242 at gmail dot com