Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta

7 | March 10, 2014

Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta

Oh cabbage — I really don’t eat enough of you. Look how gorgeous you are! When you wear purple you really are the most flamboyant of all of the vegetables. Strut’n it in the garden — yeah we see you but even though your as awesomely bright as David Bowie in his Stardust days, I just keep walking by. For this I apologize and from here on out will make every effort to include you in my culinary expeditions.

I really love cabbage but I just forget about using it. The other night when all of the family was actually at home for Sunday dinner, I broke out the dutch oven and threw a head of cabbage with some pancetta in to braise in red wine until soft and beyond delicious. I had overheard two ladies at the market the previous day talking about how their mothers would braise cabbage with bacon and cider vinegar for hours for the most amazing dish. Of course, my nosey ears couldn’t resist and grabbed a cabbage but strayed from the bacon because I wanted a more elevated bacon flavor and opted to use some homemade pancetta…and then there’s the wine because there’s always wine in this house.

Savory and slightly tangy, this Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta is not only a gorgeous side dish but an exciting one as well. I’s incredibly simple to make. All you have to do is a little slicing, sauteing, and braising.


First you shred the cabbage, dice the pancetta, and slice the onion.

onions pancetta

In a dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot, crisp the pancetta, then add the onions and saute until softened. Add the cabbage, wine, vinegar, and braise away until you’re at the point if utter deliciousness.

braised cabbage web

Serve as a side…

Chicken Milanese with Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta

or on top of your favorite chicken, pork, or fish dish like this Chicken Milanese — a recipe I will post next. Cheers!

Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta

Rating: 51

Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta

Savory and slightly tangy, this Braised Red Cabbage and Pancetta is not only a gorgeous side dish but an exciting one as well.


  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. With a knife slice the cabbage in quarters. Cut the core out of each cabbage quarter then shred by slicing thin slices. Peel and slice the onion thinly. Peel and mince the garlic. Set aside until needed.
  2. Cube pancetta into bite-sized pieces. Place in a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and saute until the pancetta is crisp and the fat has rendered; stir frequently. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. To the pancetta, add cabbage, wine, water, apple cider, and sugar. Stir making sure you scrape any bits off of the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer on low. Simmer covered for 1 hour. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid has reduced. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with parsley if desired and serve.


  • Paula - bell'alimento

    A stunner.

  • katie

    I love eating red cabbage but have never made it at home. I always eat it when my mother in-law makes it. I need to give your recipe a try :)

  • Rebecca {foodie with family}

    I love cabbage and this is one beautiful pan full of cabbage.

  • Rose Aldrow

    What is pancetta? Is it a very greasy ingredient?

    • In Sock Monkey Slippers

      Pancetta is basically an Italian bacon but it’s cured with spices. It’s not greasy when you cook it but it does produce a fat rendering that you use to cook this dish (just like you would use a cooking oil).

  • Rina@Itheecook

    Oh this would be perfect with pot roast to! I love the idea of the pancetta.

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