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Holiday cooking: browned sautéed cabbage

Photo by Juta Kübarsepp for Nami-Nami

Christmas is just around the corner and I’m busy coordinating various festive dinners and other occasions. Good times, and I always feel a bit sad when all the feasts are finally over. Well, there will be another Christmas in just a year, of course 🙂

One of the staples on Estonian Christmas table is sauerkraut, and I’ve got a lovely version here on my blog, sauerkraut braised in dark beer. However, not all people have access to Estonian-style sauerkraut (fresh and unpasteurised, containing just cabbage and salt and perhaps some caraway seeds), or perhaps they cannot stomach the fermented version. Here’s where this recipe comes to rescue – a fresh cabbage that’s been sautéed and browned in butter, dark syrup and some stock. This has a slightly milder flavour compared to the traditional sauerkraut, but it’s just as lovely as a side dish alongside the traditional pork roast that I always serve on Christmas eve. It also works brilliantly with oven-baked salmon or other fish, so it’s quite versatile.

Here’s the recipe. If you use vegetable broth, then the dish is also suitable for vegetarians. For a vegan version you’ll need to choose vegetable stock and oil instead of butter. It’s also suitable for a gluten-free diet, as long as you’ll use proper vegetable or chicken broth.

Browned sautéed cabbage
(Pruunistatud kapsas)
Serves 6 to 8

1 head of white cabbage
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp dark (corn) syrup (I used this)
about a cup of hot vegetable or chicken broth
salt, to taste

Cut the cabbage into wedges, then into thin ribbons.
Heat butter in a large saucepan, add the cabbage, a sprinkling of salt and fry for a few minutes over a moderate heat. Add the dark syrup and the stock, give it a stir. Cover and simmer over a low heat for about an hour, until the cabbage is tender and nicely golden brown. Season to taste with salt.

Can be successfully re-heated, so feel free to make this in advance.


Thank you, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen for featuring this recipe on BlogHer in January 2014.

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