This is one of my go to sides when I serve Pork Chops – slightly sweet and a bit tart, it has none of the overwhelming pungency of the Red Cabbage Braises that are so popular today.
This is a favorite with Apple Glazed Stuffed Pork Chops. Depending on the size of your cabbage and how much your family likes it and/or deals with it as left overs, you might want to adjust the amount of cabbage down just a bit. While it does wilt down slightly during cooking, even half of a large cabbage will produce quite a lot of braised cabbage.
The dish above would serve 4 in our family, but it is only half of the recipe I made using 1/4 of a large cabbage. Realistically speaking, if your family is wild about cabbage and eats it with no problem it will be a different story than if you are coaxing small children to take a few bites.
I brought this to the table for about $1.55 – Scroll down to see how I put my strategies to work.
Apple Braised Green Cabbage
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, sliced with the grain
- 1/2 small head of cabbage, quartered, thinly sliced (core removed) or 1/4 of a large head
- 1 tart apple, peeled and grated if desired, or simply cut into a small dice
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (taste when it is near done and decide)
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, plus a splash
- 1/4 cup water or chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a medium pot or Dutch oven, cook the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the apple, brown sugar, wine, vinegar, and water, and bring up to a simmer, stirring.
Cover and braise for 30 minutes, stirring now and then, and checking on the texture. Cook a little less for a firmer cabbage; a little more for softer cabbage. You may need to add more liquid, water is fine, if your lid is not tight.
Salt and pepper to taste. Add a small splash of cider vinegar just before serving, if desired. When serving small children, sometimes a bit of sugar at the end makes this more appealing, a teaspoon or so.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
- If your head of cabbage is quite large, you will very likely be able to get by with much less than 1/2 head in this recipe.
- Butter: A bit of a splurge, cost and calorie wise – but for taste and health, I’d rather use real butter than trans fat laden margarine or oils. Yes – they do have trans fat, even if the label says they don’t. Harvard, for instance, says unequivocally: “The key to a healthy diet is to substitute good fats for bad fats and to avoid trans fat.” While butter isn’t a healthy fat, many feel that trans fat is worse than saturated.Buy on deep specials, often around the holidays with store coupons. I shoot for $2.50 a pound and freeze, where it stays fine for months. Cost for this recipe: 2 tablespoons, 15 cents.
- Apple: Look for apples in the fall at the best price, and watch for them in January and February at a lower cost. In January, the apples in the cold storage need to be sold off quickly, and there is a glut of apples coming out of gassed storage. Bought at 88 cents a pound, an apple is about 5 1/2 ounces. Cost: 30 cents.
- Onions: They keep well, so try to buy on sale. Aldi’s is a good place to find reasonably priced onions. Always less expensive in the fall/winter months, the pricing in my area runs from 33 to 66 cents a pound. Store them in a dark, cool place but not near potatoes. If you’ve bought too many onions, don’t let them go bad.Slice or dice them, saute and portion into ziplocs labeled “onions” and freeze. You’ve just saved yourself a step for next time you make a dish. If you have enough, consider making French Onion Soup. If you use half an onion, consider if you can sauté the rest and put it in a Ziploc in the freezer. If not store in the door where you’ll see it when you’re cooking next. 17 cents.
- Cabbage: Pick the largest cabbage you can find if sold by the head. Mine was almost 4 pounds. Cabbage is always less expensive in the fall/winter and usually there is a great sale around St. Paddy’s day. While you’ll want to pay attention to the sales, per head or per pound, they can often be picked up in my area for a song. It makes sense to pick up an extra if you have room in your fridge when you see a rock bottom price and using it for Braised Cabbage or Cole Slaw. Try using the core in a green smoothie. St. Paddy’s day sales put them at about 99 cents a head, which is a about 25 cents a pound, and 33 cents a pound. 1/2 cabbage 50 cents.
- Sugar: a few cents a tablespoon, call it 3.
- White Wine: I really shop the sales and speak to the employees – I find I can find great wines for a pittance. If you have a wine shop you like, I find you can get mailings or emails for their best sales – often in the fall and spring. My last bottle of a basic white was $2.99 – I know, I know, they say always buy a wine you’d drink to cook with, but you’d be surprised at the bargains you can get and how long you can use a bottle for quick little recipes like this and my bargain wine really is quaffable.
- If I were making a recipe with a long, slow reduction like a stew, especially with a red wine, I’d be a lot more careful, because any tannins or off flavors might be even more exaggerated, but here I’m looking for rounded flavor and a bit of acidity. I’ll even throw the wine in some dishes if it’s starting to turn to vinegar, and if I didn’t have any wine, I’d add a bit more stock and a few teaspoons of white wine or champagne vinegar, or even a red wine vinegar, or a squeeze of lemon juice depending on the recipe. Cost for 1/4 cup is pennies, about 40 cents.
- Vinegar: I pick up a jug of white vinegar around Easter – often with a coupon, and often on an unadvertised sale. It keeps forever and is dirt cheap. The better vinegars are often on sale at Easter, and on sale with coupons sporadically through the summer. Many can be picked up at no cost or for just pennies. Stock up because great sales other times of the year are much less likely and vinegar is a component of so many recipes. Cost nominal
- Chicken Stock: If you read me regularly, I make my own with scraps of vegetables and bones – here’s the basic recipe I use for Best Turkey or Chicken Stock – it’s not particular and though it simmers for a long time, the burner is barely on – I just count it as free.r and is dirt cheap. The better vinegars are often on sale at Easter, and on sale with coupons sporadically through the summer. Cost nominal.
Apple Braised Green Cabbage made February 2012; repriced March 2014