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Grandmother's Red Cabbage (Rode Kool Met Appeltjes)


Grandmother's Red Cabbage (Rode Kool Met Appeltjes)

Red Cabbage & Apples

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
This recipe for Rode Kool Met Appeltjes, featuring red cabbage and apples, came to me via a friend. She got the recipe from an old boyfriend, whose grandmother used to make it. At any rate, I’m glad this recipe found me so I can share it with you.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 apples (preferably Goudreinet), peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • The zest of half a lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 tsp corn starch (corn flour)
  • Salt and pepper


In a large saucepan, sautee the onions in the butter. Now toss in the red cabbage, stir and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, along with enough water to cover the cabbage. Simmer for an hour or two, or until soft but not mushy. In a small bowl, mix a little bit of the cooking liquid with the corn starch (corn flour) and add to the saucepan. Allow to thicken. Season the Rode Kool Met Appeltjes to taste and serve.


Ellen’s favorite updated version of this red cabbage dish is to use cranberries instead of apples.

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