This recipe for rotkraut, a tart dish of pickled red cabbage simmered with warm spices in a dry red wine, came to The Times from Debbie Himmler of Cincinnati. The dish, a nod to her grandparents’ German heritage, makes regular appearances on her family’s Thanksgiving table, but can be served year round. It’s best prepared a day or two ahead, and also freezes well — a real boon if you’re planning a big meal. Just reheat it in a covered saucepan on the stove the day you plan to serve it.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 8 persons



  1. Step 1

    Combine cabbage, wine, brown sugar, salt, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves and apples in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the vinegar, then add to the pot along with the butter; stir until butter is melted. Simmer, uncovered, 20 more minutes, or until most of the liquid has cooked off and cabbage is very tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.