I’m not afraid to admit that I do a terrible job celebrating my food heritage. I always vow to celebrate Oktoberfest (which in Germany is celebrated the last week in September) but quite frankly, I’m not a huge beer drinker, and sausages and potatoes just don’t make the cut as my favorite foods.  So the years keep passing me by and no heritage is celebrated. Those summer brats don’t count –  they fall under Wisconsin heritage, not German. ;)

Oktoberfest was originally a celebration of Prince Ludwig and Princess Saxe-Hildburghausen’s wedding, where they organized a large horse race. The event was so much fun they decided to make it a yearly event.  As the years went on, the celebration grew and shifted to the beer tents and strong brews we think of today.  This year, 200 years after the first Oktoberfest, it was my turn to celebrate!

My search for German recipes was frustrating to say the least – potatoes, sausage and a ridiculous amount of cakes are exactly the reasons I haven’t celebrated in years. In fact I almost started to take it as a sign. But when I started to think about passing on my own food traditions, I think that my food heritage – however small it is in my life and kitchen- is something I’ll want to pass on to my children. So we ended up with beer-boiled (0bviously) sausage (Würstl) and some braised red cabbage.  Not quite the German meal that I had imagined, but one that tasted great and would have my ancestors proud. I hope.

Braised Red Cabbage 3-4 servings

  • 1/2 red cabbage
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds

Thinly slice red cabbage, onions and mince garlic.

Heat oil in large pan and add onions to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Add cabbage, garlic vinegar and fennel to pan. Toss ingredients and cover.

Cook for about 10 minutes, then turn heat down to low. Cook for another 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Just be sure to include a cold beer – it wouldn’t be an Oktoberfest celebration without it.

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16 Comments (Reply )

  1. Angela
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    I think your ancestors would be proud! The idea of making braised cabbage seems daunting, but it looks delicious. I love cabbage in any form, but sauerkraut is my favorite. Is that a German dish?


    • Emily
      Oct 13, 2010 @ 9:17 am

      Yes! I think it is considered German! :) I actually do love sauerkraut too!


  2. Bill Roehl
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    It’s cabbage season for sure and while I generally stick to my roots with “Cabbage and Bow Ties,” my wife is not much a fan. I’m going to try this recipe instead because who doesn’t like some sausage for dinner?

    Thanks for this one.


  3. Angharad
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    Oh gosh, this looks absolutely divine!


  4. Megan (Braise The Roof)
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 9:15 am

    That cabbage looks amazing! I like sausages occasionally (I actually just picked up some flavored chicken sausages at TJ’s- I love that they’re less processed)…I may have to take your lead here and make something similar this week! :)


  5. erica
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    This looks like a great Fall recipe and yes a beer would be a must!


  6. kate
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    i am german too and love a good sausage!


  7. Susan
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 8:53 pm

    Beautiful pics! I love sausage too, but I would also suggest a pork tenderloin to go with your braised cabbage. My favorite fall dinner is a pork tenderloin braised with apples and onions (and other secret ingredients) and served with
    mashed potatoes or spaetzle. And, yes, I am of German heritage too!


    • Emily
      Oct 13, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

      My Mom just told me today that pork tenderloin and braised cabbage was my Grandmas go-to meal!


  8. Katrina
    Oct 13, 2010 @ 9:22 pm

    That looks so much better than the stuff the college cafeteria served the last week of summer classes. I might have to try this! It look so pretty :-)


  9. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 6:53 am

    Have you been to the Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis? This meal reminds me of that restaurant! I just ate there for the first time recently and it was so fun!


  10. Magic of Spice
    Oct 14, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

    Interesting dish…love the color, looks beautiful :)


  11. Robert Wilson
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 4:10 am

    thanks for the post


  12. Holly
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 2:58 pm

    you know i love me some german food. bring on the cabbage and meat! and of course, the beer! :)


  13. Laura
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    I am lucky enough to live only 2 blocks from the Black Forest Inn in Minneapolis. I am also of German heritage and I LOVE the food there… almost as much as I love the $8 carafe of apple wine they serve on the patio in the warmer months.

    I can’t afford to dine out very often, so it’s great to see simple recipes I can make at home when I want those German dishes. This looks delicious, though I think I will use caraway seed instead of fennel and add some kale toward the end as a variation.


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