Rødkål is nothing more than the Danish name for red cabbage. It is often served with roast pork or roast duck, especially at Christmas. Flæskesteg med rødkål (roast pork with red cabbage) is also served cold on dark Danish rye bread as an open sandwich, known as smørrebrød that we featured a couple years ago.
The traditional way to make rødkål is to use ribssaft (red currant juice). It can also be prepared with ribsgele (red currant jelly) and sometimes with æblemost (apple juice).
It is not always easy to find red currant juice or jelly, at least in Los Angeles, so I settled for apple juice as a substitute. Rødkål is often prepared with butter, but duck fat is often used and gives it a great unique flavor. Obviously, you can use oil to make it a vegan side dish!
Although it is often made just with cabbage, another common ingredient is apple. It is then logically called rødkål med abler. Sliced or grated, apples give more sweetness and texture to the Scandinavian side dish.
I am told that the taste of rødkål is even better the day after cooking, but we will never find out as ours was entirely devoured with our Friday night dinner! You can keep rødkål for about a week in the refrigerator. You can also keep it for 3 to 4 months in a sterilized jar in a cold place. Once the jar open, it should be eaten in a couple weeks.
Rødkål is a quick and easy side dish that can be eaten cold or warn and that will give some color to your meaty dinners!
- 1 lb red cabbage
- 2 apples
- 1 tablespoon duck fat (oil or butter)
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups red currant juice (or apple juice)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
Cut the cabbage thinly. Peel the apples and remove the cores and stems. Grate the apples.
Sauté the cabbage and apple in the fat for a few minutes. Add vinegar, red currant juice, and sugar. Season with salt.
Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir in the cabbage occasionally during cooking.
Taste and adjust with salt and sugar if necessary.