If seasons were paired with regional cuisines, summer's partner would be Latin, with its bright ceviches and piquant salsas. Cool weather calls for slow-cooked Nordic flavors, like Martha Stewart's braised red cabbage dish with caramelized apples.
The traditional Thanksgiving table is a mixture of sweet and savory—this dish, with its caramelized apples and tangle of soft onions, is a bit of both. A splash of vinegar keeps the cabbage vibrantly pink, a beautiful hue for the festive season.
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- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
- 2 medium Granny Smith or other tart, firm apples (1 pound total), peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
- 1 small (1 1/2 pounds) red cabbage, cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges through the core
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
Melt butter in a medium stockpot or Dutch oven (at least 11 inches in diameter) over medium-high heat. Add sugar and salt, and stir to dissolve.
Add apples and onion, in as close to a single layer as possible. Turn to coat in butter mixture. Let cook, shaking pan occasionally and turning over once, until sugar is beginning to caramelize and coat the apples and onions, about 10 minutes.
Add cabbage, vinegar and water. Bring to just under a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until cabbage is tender and liquid is reduced to a syrup, 25 to 30 minutes. (If necessary, remove lid in the last five minutes and cook uncovered to reduce liquid to desired consistency; most of the apples will disintegrate.)
Transfer cabbage and apples to a bowl and serve immediately.