When I think back to the many days spent at my grandparents' house, one of the strongest memories I have is of the various smells associated with my grandmother's cooking and baking. On entering their house on the day of a big meal, one of the scents sure to greet visitors was that of Danish red cabbage (rødkål), a sweet and sour cabbage preparation that serves as the perfect accompaniment to frikadeller (meatballs), medisterpølse (sausage), or other main dishes.
Rødkål takes a few hours to prepare and cook and can easily be reheated, so you may wish to prepare this a night in advance and then warming at low heat the next day while finishing up cooking whatever other dishes you are preparing.
Rødkål (Danish Red Cabbage) (enough for a crowd)
1 medium head of red cabbage (about 3 lbs.), shredded or cut finely
3 T. butter
1 T. sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 medium apples, peeled / cored / finely chopped
1/2 cup red currant jelly (I grabbed seedless raspberry from the store by mistake - it also works!)
1. Melt butter in a large pot / kettle over medium-low heat and add sugar, stir until it dissolves in butter. Add cabbage and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly so that cabbage is coated in butter / sugar mixture.
2. Add vinegar, water, salt, and pepper and simmer (covered) for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is very tender.
3. Add apples and red currant jelly (and if necessary, additional vinegar, water, or sugar to balance flavor). Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.