Polish-Style Red Cabbage

Here’s a Polish-Style Red Cabbage side dish made with fried onions, apple and bacon with typical Polish flavors of caraway, juniper berries, and dill. Serve with more smoked pork or sausages, such as Kielbasa.



3 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
4 ounces good bacon, diced; slab bacon if you can find it
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup good chicken stock
1 medium red cabbage, cored and thinly shredded, about 8 cups
1 apple, such as Honeycrisp or Macoun, peeled, cored and diced
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground fresh pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill


Few sprigs of fresh dill


Use a spice bag or cheesecloth to hold the juniper berries and bay leaves. This makes for easy removal at the end of cooking.

Place the bacon in a heavy-bottomed pan, like a 7-quart Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered, and the bacon is crispy.

Stir in the onions, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring 3 times. Uncover and continue cooking another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be lightly fried, but not burned. Turn the heat down if the onions are cooking too fast.

Pour a couple tablespoons of water over the fried onions and stir to loosen the fond on the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over the onions, stir to combine.

Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to incorporate the flour.

Add the cabbage, apple, caraway seeds, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 90 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, but still holding it’s shape.

Remove the spice bag or cheesecloth and stir the dill. Garnish with a few sprigs.


Keywords: red cabbage, cabbage, polish cabbage, bacon, caraway seeds, juniper berries, bay leaf, apple