2 ratings

Red Cabbage With Pears and Pig

Perfect for Thanksgiving or New Year's Day
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune

Red cabbage is braised with smoked pork, red wine, sherry vinegar and brown sugar for a sweet and tart side you can make a week ahead of Thanksgiving.

This recipe by James P. DeWan was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
1 h 5 m
20 m
(prepare time)
45 m
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


Substitute bacon for smoked pork, cutting it into bite-size pieces and cooking to just done before proceeding with recipe. Or, leave out all meat products, and make the dish vegan.


  • 1/4 Pound smoked pork chops (see note), cut into medium dice
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3 Pounds red cabbage, cored, shredded
  • 1 Cup dry red wine, such as pinot noir
  • 1 1/2 Cup chicken or beef broth or water
  • 1/4 Cup sherry vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 pears, cored and sliced or diced


In a heavy bottomed stockpot, cook the diced pork chop in the oil over medium-high heat until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Add onions to pot; cook until wilted and lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add cabbage; stir in wine, broth or water, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Turn up heat; when liquid comes to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low (or place in a 325-degree oven), and braise until cabbage reaches desired doneness, usually 30 to 60 minutes. Check liquid levels, and add a little more stock or water if needed.

When cabbage is nearly done, add pears and reserved smoked pork; cover again, and cook until the pears are tender, about 5 minutes.

Correct seasoning and serve immediately, or cool and hold in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat, stirring occasionally, in a covered pan over medium-low heat with a little stock or water to keep it from scorching.