German Christmas cooking

Christmas in Germany (much like everywhere else) has a huge focus on food. There are a few that are simply a must for me. These include goose instead of turkey, Christmas biscuits and spiced red cabbage. Since the cabbage can be frozen, it’s the ideal thing to make ahead to make Christmas Day easier! This is the recipe I use from Dr. Oetker’s Schulkochbuch, slightly altered.


You’ll need:

1kg red cabbage (after the removal of the stem)

3 medium sized sour apples

2 medium sized onions

125ml water or red wine

2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

2 tbsp vinegar


1 bay leaf

3 cloves

2 star anise





First you chop the cabbage as finely as you can. I like the bits to be quite long, so I do it by hand, but grating it or running it through a Kitchenaid would work too.

Peel, core, quarter and chop up the apples. Dice the onions.

Sweat the onions in the lard for a little bit until they go soft. Add the apples and cabbage and leave to soften for a bit.

Then you add your spices and the water or wine.


The original recipe calls for juniper berries, but those are hard to come by here, so I’ve substituted star anise for that Christmassy flavour. I usually add more redcurrant jelly too – all depends on how tart the one you get is.

Let everything simmer for an hour and a half or so, then taste and add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. If it’s still quite bland after that a little apple juice can work wonders.

Either serve up or leave to cool! It freezes really well and often is even more delicious when warmed up again. I did twice the amount above this year and it yielded all of this:

3.5kg of spiced red cabbage!

Now that that’s done and with all these decorations up it’s beginning to feel a lot more like Christmas.


Star Wars snowflakes, wreath and candles outside


Cosy living room with our little tree


Even the fridge corner gets to sparkle


Let me know how you get on if you make this!



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