OCTOBER! Cabbage! Germany! I don’t know much about why Germans like Oktober. I tried reading the Wiki article on it, but I lost interest when they started talking about some Prince. I do know that I missed Denver’s Oktoberfest. It was the 2nd and 3rd weekend in September. Hm. But I’m pretty sure that whatever food I might have found on the street would not have been as good as what I made here. I’m not sure how I would have eaten cabbage anyway on the street and that’s what I like most here. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise. I love vegetable side dishes.
So there are apples in the cabbage. I miss New York apples so much. They’re such a thing there and so not a thing here. I searched for an apple picking orchard here and found one, but first, they required reservations to go pick apples and second, they had already sold out spots for the season. What the hell. All those idiots going to pick apples probably don’t even know what the hell a good apple is anyway. They probably just like Fuji and Gala and barf Red Delicious. And they’ll pick these lovely heirloomy varietals and they’ll be all tart and wonderful and they’ll think ew these are gross and then let them sit around and get mealy and then throw them out. I hate them. I deserved one of those spots.
Now this isn’t a recipe for sausage. I don’t have a sausage grinder, much to my chagrin. I’ve looked at them before and came really close to Add to Cart. If you have one, and you make sausage to go with this cabbage, you are better than me. If you’re just a pleb like me, then the best you can do is to grill or fry up your store-bought sausage nice and crisp. You can get kielbasa, smoked German sausage, bratwurst, or whatever you like best. The ones I got were labeled “German sausage”. They were real good. I can get smoked German ones at my little meat market and those are real good too. Anything smoked is.
Don’t be afraid of the amount of sliced cabbage a 2 pound cabbage head makes. You will have zero problem snarfing this down. I ate like a quarter of the cabbage from the pan while I was waiting for the sausages to cook. If green cabbage is cheaper (which it seems to usually be for some reason) you can use that instead. You can use whatever apples you like best. Obviously, some tart just-picked ones would be best, but if you weren’t able to go pick apples because you failed to think ahead in June to sign up for a spot to pick some at seemingly the only stupid orchard near Denver to grow apples, then whatever seems best at the grocery store will work fine.
braised red cabbage + german sausage
1 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 allspice berries
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed/minced
2 tart apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 lb red cabbage head, cored and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 German sausages
parsley, roughly chopped
1. Coarsely crush seeds in a plastic baggie with a mallet, rolling pin, your iron fist, whatever. You could also pulse a couple times in a coffee/spice grinder.
2. Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook spices, garlic, and apple slices for about 2 minutes.
3. Add cabbage, stir to mix, and cook, covered, for about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and check tenderness. You can cook to your desired texture.
4. Add vinegar and cook, uncovered, for another 2-4 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Heat a heavy pan or grill pan on medium high heat. Add a little oil and the sausages. Cook about 6-7 minutes per side, until browned and crisped and cooked through.
Serve the cabbage and sausage topped with parsley. Sauerkraut if you like, too! Stupidly enough, I never ate this with beer. I don’t know. You should.