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Sweet-and-Sour Braised Red Cabbage

To braise a food means to cook it in liquid until it’s tender. A food processor makes short work of slicing the cabbage, so if you have one, most of the time it takes to make this is hands-off. This dish is a perfect side for roast chicken or pork, or for a vegetarian entrée, serve it over mashed potatoes or wide noodles.

Ingredients in this dish can react with certain metals, so it’s important to use a nonreactive pot—one made of stainless steel, anodized aluminum (such as Calphalon or Magnalite), or that has an enamel or nonstick coating. Avoid using shiny aluminum, copper, tin, or cast iron, unless it is very well seasoned. Otherwise, the cabbage can turn blue and the finished dish may have a metallic taste.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 small head red cabbage

1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped (do not peel)

¼ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup cider vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Peel off the outer leaves from the cabbage and discard. Cut the cabbage into quarters, cut out the core, and then cut each quarter into very thin strips (use a food processor, if you have one). You should end up with about 6 cups of strips.
  2. Put the cabbage and apple in a large pot and add enough water so that most of it is covered. Set over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain off most of the water (leave ¼ to ½ cup). Continue to simmer until the apple is tender and the cabbage has cooked down considerably, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are very tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.