Fall Recipes: Pickled Red Cabbage and Spaetzle

pickled red cabbage and spaetzle

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I love a good  Sauerbraten recipe – it’s one of my favorite Autumnal meals. I truly look forward to that time of year; the weather is heavenly and the cooking is so much fun. It doesn’t matter if you have the oven going for a while or have a pot on the stove going for hours.

red cabbage

If I was going to make a sauerbraten – German for “sour roast” – I was also going to make the classic accompaniments. That meant pickled red cabbage and spaetzle. Generally when I make this meal it’s because I have a cabbage on hand. This time it happened to be a red cabbage but more often than not it’s made with green cabbage. Since I had the red one I decided to make pickled red cabbage to change up the classes meal a bit.

The spaetzle is just a basic recipe – nothing different or special but just what the plate needed to balance the flavorful beef and the cabbage. It’s easy to make and it’s really something I should make more often but just tend to forget about.

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pickled red cabbage


Pickled Red Cabbage and Spaetzle

See Sauerbraten Recipe

For the Pickled Cabbage:
1 medium head red cabbage
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
zest from two oranges
2 tsp salt

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For the Spaetzle:
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS butter

Make the pickled cabbage:
Preheat the oven to 250°
Core the cabbage and slice it into thin strips.
Add the cabbage to a large bowl and then mix in the oil, cider vinegar, orange juice, zest and salt.
Mix together very well.

pickled red cabbage
Spread the cabbage in a thin layer onto two large baking sheets.
Put them in the preheated oven and let them roast for 30 minutes.
Stir the cabbage around on the sheet and rotate them in the oven and roast for another 30 minutes. Repeat these actions for another two times until the cabbage is cooked but still slightly crunchy.
Make the Spaetzle:
Mix together the milk and eggs.

spaetzel dough
Add the flour and salt and stir with a fork until you have a very sticky dough.
Fill a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add half of the butter
Take a portion of the dough and put it on a flat surface such a cutting board.
Cut, slice, push – however you choose to do it – drop pieces of dough into the boiling water.
(you can use a spaetzle maker or spaetzle press)
Cook until they rise to the surface.

spaetzle in saute pan
Remove the spaetzle from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or small strainer and put them into the saute pan with the butter. Let the spaetzle cook until they are lightly browned, then turn them over to brown on the other side. Remove to a bowl to keep warm while to boil and saute the other half of the dough.
Don’t overcrowd the saute pan because you want to brown the spaetzle not steam them.

Sauerbraten, pickled red cabbage and spaetzle

Serve the cabbage and spaetzle with the sauerbraten for a classic German meal.

How Was the Pickled Red Cabbage and Spaetzle?

Although I will be the first to admit that the addition of orange to the pickled red cabbage is anything but classic. It was, however, delicious! I had never had it that way before, nor had I ever seen a recipe for it that way. One called for the juice, one called for the zest so I went for both figuring it could only be better with both and it was! The spaetzle were nothing out of the ordinary – but they were yummy. It’s amazing how good the simplest of doughs can be. With all of that “sour” going on it was good to have a plain little puff of deliciousness to go to.

It was worth the three days of marinating and the all day cooking. Some meals are worth the wait.

If you have cabbage but don’t want to go to the fuss of a whole sauerbraten meal you can make a simple pasta with cabbage, onions and bacon. It’s delicious!



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