I love Autumn. The air is finally crisp and cool after the long hot summer, and the changing leaves put on a spectacular show. It’s also time for Octoberfest! I have to say I’ve been to many Oktoberfests but the one that really stands out is in Mt. Angel, Oregon.This is truly Oktoberfest with fabulous food such as German Braised Red Cabbage, a Biergarten, and oompah bands with singers and dancers dressed in Lederhosen and Dirndls.
German Braised Red Cabbage
The entire town devotes itself to this one beautiful celebration. Because this is after all the Northwest, they’ve also added a Weingarten, for those who like wine, an Alpinegarten, where there isn’t a bad seat in the house to view the entertainment, a Prostgarten, where you can bring all your food favorites and relax.
And right behind the Glockenspiel is the Bandstand which has continuous entertainment provided by the townspeople. In fact, each morning the Mt. Angel School children perform a traditional Webertanz, a May Pole Dance. You feel that yes, you really are in Germany. And tours are conducted throughout the celebration to view the beautiful Benedictine Abby at Mt. Angel. It’s so peaceful as it sits high on the hill overlooking the town.
But being a foodie, my mind naturally keeps going to the food which is really outstanding from sausage to spatzle, to brauts and sauerkraut. My favorite dish though was at a little restaurant in the village. We had sausages, German potato salad and the best Braised Cabbage I’ve ever had.
When I got home, I made this Braised Cabbage many times trying to get as close to their recipe as possible and it was never quite right. It lacked their special combination of sweet and tangy. But never say die, I kept trying and it still wasn’t right. Until recently. I think I’ve done it. I asked my husband and he said, “Yep, that’s it”.
Health note: The ancient Greeks believed in the curative power of Cabbage. Hippocrates often prescribed it boiled with salt for patients with violent colic. Pythagoras even composed several entire books on the virtues of Cabbage. It was said that Diogenes ate cabbage on the recommendation of Pythagoras while Aristippus, another Greek philosopher, refused to even have it in his kitchen. Maybe it’s just a coincidence but Diogenes lived to the ripe old age of 90 and Aristippus died at the age of 40.
German Braised Red Cabbage is tangy and sweet and a perfect accompaniment to spareribs or bratwurst and German potato salad.
In a large pot add olive oil and bring to medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in apples.
Stir in cabbage, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Turn down to medium low heat and cover.
Cook until Cabbage is tender, about 50-55 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve warm or cold.