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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

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Class up red cabbage with Joe Muench's savory side dish.
Class up red cabbage with Joe Muench's savory side dish. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Side-ling up to the holiday table: Muench's slow-cooked red cabbage

Want to pull out all the stops this holiday? Some of Milwaukee's most talented chefs have shared their favorite holiday side dish recipes with us. So, throughout the month of December, we'll share their takes on holiday-worthy fare.

Chef Joe Muench of Maxie's Southern Comfort says he hated red cabbage as a kid, but it's now one of his favorite side dishes.

"It is something my grandmother, who lived with our family for many years, often made. I hated it as a kid. The smell, look and flavor sent chills up and down my spine. Funny thing is, as a kid, I loved and still love sauerkraut. As the years went on, I was in many situations where red cabbage was served and it wasn't my grandmother's recipe. I found myself interested in trying their versions and surprisingly started liking them.

"As I grew closer to being a chef, I began forming a large craving for red cabbage. Now, it is by far one of my favorite sides, and I could even make it the main dish of a meal – with plenty of beer and buttered bread on the side."

Slow-Cooked Red Cabbage

2 medium heads red cabbage, chopped
2 onions, sliced thinly
4 apples, peeled and chopped
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
2-3 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
3-4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper, ground

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and set on low for 6-7 hours. Stir once or twice during that time. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Serve with your favorite roasted, braised or grilled meats.

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