Austrian Red Cabbage

Sometimes I become captivated by a new dish or a new ingredient or a new flavor and then I can’t get it out of my mind. That happened on Monday night with braised red cabbage - I know, funny right? - it was during Stefan’s bday party at one of the new Austrian restaurants in town. I ordered the duck that came in a red wine-honey reduction sauce and baby turnips, Brussel sprouts and braised red cabbage.

Something about the cabbage stopped in me in my tracks. I couldn’t get enough. I ordered a little extra for the table. And then I ordered some for dessert.

I asked Chef what was in it and if I could have a take home jar filled with it. He laughed heartily and, "I made it with TLC".

"No, no," I insisted, "Don't tease me, I need to know what’s in it."

He said the cabbage was a very traditional Austrian dish and this version was braised in port, apples, and oranges and other ingredients that he wouldn’t divulge. Drat. He didn’t even tell me about the caraway but I could taste the seeds.

What ever it was: TLC, port, caraway or all of the above, I was enthralled.


Weatherboy said…
Could that be a major allergy issue - if a chef won't tell you what's in a dish because they are 'protecting' a recipe?
Allergic Girl® said…
hi weatherboy.

yes, it very well could be a major allergy issue and often is.

those chefs that keep their proprietary recipes "secret" when talking with an identified allergic girl or guy, well, those chefs certainly have that right.

however we, the allergic customers, also retain the right to say "no thanks, i shant be dining here" and take our business elsewhere.

i have done that and would encourage anyone who doesn't feel safe in a dining sitch to do the same.

however, what wasn't said in this short post is that this cabbage showed up mid-meal, by entree time, and the chef and i had talked *at length* prior to the dinner. chef had the full list of my allergies and was taking every precaution.

that is, i felt safe enough not to press him about every ingredient in the red cabbage dish of delight and trust there was no secret salmon roe or almond paste lurking in between slivers of shredded purple cabbage leaves.

but thank you for raising that important point.
~M said…
The braised red cabbage recipe you link to sounds wonderful. Please let us know if you make the recipe (and any tweaks) in a future post!

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