Braised Red Cabbage

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

This sort of “healthyish” side, with its sweet-and-sour flavor, is the perfect accompaniment to hearty cold-weather braises such as Bacon Braised Pork Shanks and any dish that begins or ends with bacon. If I am serving this with a bacon dish, I’ll sometimes leave out the bacon. But, if you like bacon in everything, then by all means keep it in.


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 6 ounces (170 g) thin-sliced bacon, cut crosswise into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces (optional)
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup (120 ml) plus 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 head red cabbage (about 2 pounds/910 g), cored, halved, and cut into slices ¼ inch (6 mm) thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


If using bacon, in a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat, combine the oil and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. If you’re not using bacon, add the oil to a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ½ cup (120 ml) water, ½ cup (120 ml) of the vinegar, and the sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the cabbage just begins to wilt, about 5 minutes.

Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining vinegar. Taste and add more salt or pepper or sugar, if needed. Serve hot. The cabbage will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a large high-sided sauté pan over low heat, stirring several times, for about 10 minutes.