This is one of my favorite dishes from Germany: the dynamic combination of Red Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes, and German Sausage. This delicious meal is an absolute crowd-pleaser and embodies German comfort food at its finest.

The Red Cabbage, also known as Rotkohl or Rotkraut, is cooked with spices like cloves, cinnamon, and apple cider vinegar, giving it a pleasantly savory and slightly sweet flavor. Paired with creamy mashed potatoes, which are enriched with butter and milk, they create a perfect harmonious combination.

A good German sausage completes the dish. Whether it’s Bratwurst, Currywurst, or Krakauer, there are many different varieties to choose from. Each one brings its own unique taste and character to this hearty meal.

Whether you enjoy these dishes individually or as a trio, they will surely tantalize your taste buds and give you a sense of coziness. Try this classic German dish and discover for yourself why it is so beloved! Enjoy your meal!

WHAT IS ROTKOHL?

Rotkohl, also known as red cabbage, is a popular vegetable in German cuisine. It’s often prepared as a side dish and is a staple during the fall and winter months. Rotkohl gets its vibrant color from anthocyanins, which are natural pigments found in red and purple plants.

The preparation of Rotkohl can vary, but it typically involves thinly slicing the cabbage and then cooking it with ingredients such as apples, onions, vinegar, and sugar. The combination of these ingredients gives Rotkohl its distinctive sweet and tangy flavor. It’s often seasoned with spices like cloves and sometimes includes other additions like red wine or broth.

Rotkohl is not only delicious but also adds a burst of color to the plate, making it a visually appealing side dish. It’s a classic accompaniment to many German dishes, especially those featuring meats like sausages or roasts.

INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTES

Ingredient quantities please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

Beef Beef is a common protein source used in this recipe, providing a rich, meaty flavor to the dish. You can use thinly sliced beef, such as sirloin or flank steak. If you prefer a different protein or are vegetarian/vegan, you can substitute it with tofu, tempeh, seitan, or even mushrooms for a meatless version.

  • Apples – Chopped apples are included in the recipe to impart a sweet and fruity flavor that complements the tanginess of the red cabbage. Substitute: You can use other sweet varieties of apples or even pears for a similar effect.
  • Onion – Onion is used to contribute savory and aromatic elements to the dish. Substitute: You can use shallots or red onions as substitutes.
  • Butter – The addition of butter brings richness to the dish, enhancing its overall flavor. Substitute: Olive oil or vegetable oil can be used as a substitute for butter.
  • Red Cabbage – The star ingredient, red cabbage, finely sliced and measuring 500 grams, provides both the vibrant color and distinctive flavor of Rotkohl. Substitute: You can use green cabbage as a substitute if red cabbage is not available.
  • Bay Leaf – One dried bay leaf is included in the recipe to add a subtle earthy flavor to the dish. Substitute: If you don’t have bay leaves, you can omit them or use a small amount of thyme or marjoram.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – The use of red wine vinegar adds acidity and brightness to the overall flavor profile. Substitute: You can use apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar as alternatives.
  • Sugar – Incorporating sugar helps balance the acidity of the dish, contributing a touch of sweetness. Substitute: Brown sugar or honey can be used as substitutes.
  • Salt – Salt is added to enhance and balance the overall flavor. Substitute: Use sea salt or kosher salt as alternatives.
  • Ground Allspice – A pinch of ground allspice is included for its warm and slightly sweet characteristics. Substitute: A mixture of ground cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg can be used as a substitute.
  • Water – Water is added to facilitate the cooking of the cabbage and create a flavorful liquid. Substitute: Vegetable or chicken broth can be used for added flavor.
  • Stock – A teaspoon of vegetable or chicken stock is used to enhance the savory notes in the dish. Substitute: If you don’t have stock, you can dissolve a vegetable or chicken bouillon cube in water.
  • Red Wine – Red wine is incorporated to add depth and complexity to the flavor profile of Rotkohl. If preferred, you can substitute with additional water or vegetable broth. Substitute: If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute with additional water or vegetable broth.

RECIPES TIPS

  • Thin Slicing: Ensure that the red cabbage is finely sliced to allow for even cooking and absorption of flavors. This helps in creating a tender and flavorful dish.
  • Balancing Sweetness and Acidity: Adjust the amount of sugar and vinegar according to your taste preferences. Taste the Rotkohl as it cooks and add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter or more vinegar if you like it tangier.
  • Choice of Apples: Choose apples that are sweet and slightly tart, such as Granny Smith or Braeburn, to balance the flavors. Experiment with different apple varieties to find the one you prefer.
  • Spice Blend: Experiment with the spice blend to suit your taste. Some recipes use a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg in addition to or instead of ground allspice. Adjust the spices according to your flavor preferences.
  • Cooking Time: Simmer the Rotkohl over low heat for an extended period to allow the flavors to meld and the cabbage to become tender. This slow cooking process enhances the overall taste of the dish.
  • Make It Ahead: Rotkohl often tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld. Consider making it a day ahead and reheating before serving.
  • Color Retention: To help retain the vibrant color of the red cabbage, add a splash of red wine or red wine vinegar early in the cooking process. This not only contributes to the flavor but also helps preserve the beautiful hue.
  • Creative Additions: Consider adding grated carrots or sliced onions for additional texture and flavor. These can complement the red cabbage and enhance the overall appeal of the dish.
  • Liquid Choices: If you prefer a non-alcoholic version, you can substitute the red wine with additional water or vegetable broth. Ensure the liquid content is enough to keep the cabbage moist but not overly saturated.
  • Adjusting Consistency: If the Rotkohl seems too dry during cooking, you can add a bit more water or broth. On the other hand, if it’s too liquid, remove the lid and let it simmer uncovered to allow excess moisture to evaporate.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Full recipes and Thermomix® instructions please refer to the recipes card (Click here)!

Red Cabbage (Rotkohl):

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped apples and finely chopped onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the apples are slightly softened.
  3. Insert the finely sliced red cabbage, bay leaf, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, ground allspice, water, and vegetable or chicken stock into the pot.
  4. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Cover the pot and let it simmer over low to medium heat for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the tenderness of the cabbage, and cook until it reaches your desired texture.
  6. Remove the bay leaf, and your Rotkohl is ready to be served.

Air Fry Sausage:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C (350°F) for a few minutes.
  2. Place the sausages in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching each other.
  3. Cook the sausages for 12-15 minutes, turning them halfway through, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Place the peeled and cut potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the water, place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat, and bring it to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the potatoes until they are fork-tender, usually about 15-20 minutes.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat until the butter is melted. Keep this warm.
  5. Once the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander.
  6. Return the drained potatoes to the pot and mash them using a potato masher or a fork.
  7. Gradually add the warm milk and butter mixture to the mashed potatoes, stirring continuously. Continue adding until you reach your desired creamy consistency.
  8. Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  9. Continue to mash or whip the potatoes until they are smooth and creamy.
  10. Once done, serve the air-fried sausages alongside the Rotkohl and mashed potatoes.
  11. Plate the Red Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes, and Air-Fried Sausage together on a serving platter. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley for a burst of color. Enjoy your German Comfort Trio!

WHAT ELSE TO SERVE WITH ?

The German Comfort Trio of Red Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes, and Sausage is a hearty and flavorful combination. To create a well-rounded meal, you can consider adding some additional side dishes or accompaniments. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Mustard or Gravy: Serve with a side of German mustard or a savory gravy. Mustard adds a tangy kick, while gravy complements the mashed potatoes and sausage.
  2. Bread or Pretzels: A basket of fresh bread or soft pretzels is a traditional accompaniment in German cuisine. It’s great for soaking up the delicious flavors of the Rotkohl and gravy.
  3. Sauerkraut: Another classic German side dish, sauerkraut, can provide a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the Red Cabbage. It pairs well with the savory flavors of the sausage.
  4. Pickles: Pickles or gherkins can add a crunchy and tangy element to your plate, balancing the richness of the other components.
  5. Horseradish: If you enjoy a bit of heat, consider serving horseradish on the side. Its pungent flavor can complement the sausage and add a zesty kick to the dish.
  6. German Potato Salad: If you want an alternative to mashed potatoes, German potato salad is another classic side dish that features a tangy dressing with bacon and onions.
  7. Applesauce: A side of applesauce can provide a sweet and fruity contrast to the savory elements of the dish, particularly if the sausage is on the spicier side.
  8. Green Salad: Include a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette to add freshness and balance to the meal.
  9. Cucumber Salad: A refreshing cucumber salad with dill and vinegar can be a light and crisp addition to the plate.
  10. Beer or Wine: Pair the meal with a German beer or a glass of red wine for a complete dining experience. Choose a beverage that complements the flavors of the dish.

MADE AHEAD INSTRUCTIONS

Red Cabbage (Rotkohl):

  1. Prep Ahead: Finely slice the red cabbage, chop the apples, and chop the onion. Store them in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  2. Cooking Day: On the day of serving, follow the cooking steps outlined in the recipe. Since the prep work is done, it will significantly reduce the time required to prepare the Rotkohl.

Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Prep Ahead: Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks a day in advance. Store them submerged in water in the refrigerator to prevent browning.
  2. Cooking Day: On the day of serving, boil the pre-cut potatoes until tender, then proceed with the mashing and mixing steps outlined in the recipe. Having the potatoes prepped in advance accelerates the process.

Sausage:

  1. Prep Ahead: If using fresh sausages, you can pre-pierce them with a fork to allow better absorption of flavors during cooking. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Cooking Day: Air fry the sausages on the day of serving. This is a quick process, and the air fryer allows for a convenient and efficient cooking method.

General Tips:

  1. Reheating: Both Rotkohl and mashed potatoes can be reheated on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add a bit of extra liquid (water or broth) to the mashed potatoes to maintain their creaminess.
  2. Assembly: Assemble the German Comfort Trio just before serving. Reheat the components as needed, and arrange them on a platter or individual plates.
  3. Garnishing: Fresh herbs, such as parsley, can be added just before serving for a burst of color and flavor.

By breaking down the preparation and cooking steps, you can efficiently manage your time and enjoy a delicious German Comfort Trio without the stress of simultaneous cooking.

STORAGE & REHEATING

Here are guidelines for storing and reheating each component of the German Comfort Trio: Red Cabbage, Mashed Potatoes, and Sausage:

Red Cabbage (Rotkohl):

Storage:

  • Store leftover Rotkohl in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • It can be stored for 3-4 days.

Reheating:

  1. Stovetop: Reheat gently on the stovetop over low to medium heat. Add a bit of water or broth to prevent it from drying out.
  2. Microwave: Microwave in short intervals, stirring between each, until heated through.

Mashed Potatoes:

Storage:

  • Store leftover mashed potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Mashed potatoes can be stored for 2-3 days.

Reheating:

  1. Stovetop: Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently. Add a splash of milk or broth to restore creaminess.
  2. Microwave: Microwave in short intervals, stirring between each, until heated through. Again, add a bit of liquid if needed.

Sausage:

Storage:

  • Store leftover sausages in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Sausages can be stored for 2-3 days.

Reheating (Air Fried Sausage):

  1. Air Fryer: Reheat in the air fryer at a lower temperature (around 350°F or 180°C) for a few minutes until heated through.
  2. Oven: Place the sausages on a baking sheet and reheat in a preheated oven at around 350°F (180°C) for 10-15 minutes.

General Tips:

  1. Bring to Room Temperature: If possible, let the components come to room temperature before reheating. This can help maintain their original textures.
  2. Moisture: When reheating, adding a bit of moisture, such as water, broth, or additional butter, can help prevent dryness.
  3. Check for Doneness: For all components, ensure they are thoroughly heated before serving. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature, especially for sausages.
  4. Garnish Fresh: If using fresh herbs or additional garnishes, add them just before serving to maintain their freshness and flavor.

By following these storage and reheating guidelines, you can enjoy the German Comfort Trio components even after they’ve been prepared ahead of time or if you have leftovers from a previous meal.

RECIPES FAQS

Can I prepare any part of the German Comfort Trio in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the red cabbage and mashed potatoes in advance. Store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator and reheat before serving. Sausages are best cooked fresh, but you can prep them by piercing and refrigerating.

What type of sausage works best for this dish?

Traditional German sausages like bratwurst or knockwurst work well. Choose your favorite variety or experiment with different types for added flavor.

Can I use different types of potatoes for mashed potatoes?

Yes, you can use different potato varieties. Russet potatoes are popular for their fluffy texture, but Yukon Gold or red potatoes can also be used for a creamier result.

How can I make the mashed potatoes creamier?

Add more butter, cream, or milk to achieve a creamier texture. Using a higher-fat content dairy will enhance the richness.

Is it possible to make a vegetarian version of the German Comfort Trio?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by using plant-based sausages and substituting vegetable stock for the chicken or beef stock in the mashed potatoes.

Can I freeze any leftovers?

While mashed potatoes may become slightly grainy upon freezing, red cabbage and sausages freeze well. Store in airtight containers and thaw/reheat as needed.

How do I prevent the red cabbage from turning brown?

To preserve the vibrant color, add a splash of red wine or red wine vinegar during cooking. Keep the lid on while simmering to retain color and moisture.

Can I use a different cooking method for the sausages, like grilling?

Absolutely! Grilling is a great alternative. Precook or parboil the sausages if using raw ones, then finish on the grill for a smoky flavor.

What are some additional side dishes that pair well with the German Comfort Trio?

Consider serving with mustard, fresh bread, sauerkraut, pickles, or a green salad. These additions enhance the overall dining experience.

Can I make the entire German Comfort Trio ahead of time?

While you can make parts of it ahead (red cabbage and mashed potatoes), sausages are best cooked closer to serving to maintain their texture.

Can I adjust the portion size of the recipes?

You can adjust the recipe by clicking the serving size in the recipe in recipes card to your liking!
If you can find the exact portion that you like, you can, also, adjust this in manual mode. Make sure that the cooking times and temperatures have been adjusted for different quantities of ingredients. Even preparation time (such as for cutting) may be different than in the original recipe. Please do not pass the max line indicated inside of the mixing bowl. The capacity of the mixing bowl is 2.2 liters.

This recipes is compatible with which model of Thermomix®?

This recipes suitable for TM31 / TM5 / TM6

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RECIPES VIDEO

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RECIPES CARD

German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl)

Category, DifficultyBeginner

German Red Cabbage, or "Rotkohl" in German, is a classic side dish that combines the earthy sweetness of red cabbage with a harmonious blend of spices and aromatics. This dish is traditionally braised with ingredients like apples, onions, vinegar, and a hint of sugar to create a delicious, slightly tangy, and slightly sweet accompaniment to a wide range of German meals. The vibrant purple-red color of the cabbage adds visual appeal to the plate, making it a delightful addition to any recipe that calls for a flavorful and colorful side dish.

Prep Time10 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 10 mins

Yields6 Servings

 200 g apples, chopped
 1 onion, halved
 40 g butter
 500 g red cabbage, finely sliced
 1 bay leaf, dried
 30 g red wine vinegar
 30 g sugar
 ½ tsp salt
 1 pinch ground all spice
 150 g water
 1 tsp stock (vegetable/chicken)
 100 g red wine

1

Place the chopped apples in the mixing bowl and chop for 4 sec | Speed 5. , then set them aside.

2

Add the red cabbage to the mixing bowl and chop it using the spatula for 5 sec | Speed 5, and then set it aside.

3

Place the halved onion in the mixing bowl and chop for 4 sec | Speed 5. Use the spatula to push any stray pieces down.

4

Add butter and sauté for 3 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 2.

5

Add the sliced red cabbage and sauté for an additional 3 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 2.

6

Add the chopped apples, bay leaf, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, ground allspice, water, vegetable bouillon, red wine. Cook for 60 min | 100°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

7

Transfer the red cabbage to a serving dish, remove the bay leaf, and serve the apple red cabbage as a side dish with poultry, goulash, beef roulades, or roast pork.

Ingredients

 200 g apples, chopped
 1 onion, halved
 40 g butter
 500 g red cabbage, finely sliced
 1 bay leaf, dried
 30 g red wine vinegar
 30 g sugar
 ½ tsp salt
 1 pinch ground all spice
 150 g water
 1 tsp stock (vegetable/chicken)
 100 g red wine

Directions

1

Place the chopped apples in the mixing bowl and chop for 4 sec | Speed 5. , then set them aside.

2

Add the red cabbage to the mixing bowl and chop it using the spatula for 5 sec | Speed 5, and then set it aside.

3

Place the halved onion in the mixing bowl and chop for 4 sec | Speed 5. Use the spatula to push any stray pieces down.

4

Add butter and sauté for 3 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 2.

5

Add the sliced red cabbage and sauté for an additional 3 min | 120°C | ⤺ Speed 2.

6

Add the chopped apples, bay leaf, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, ground allspice, water, vegetable bouillon, red wine. Cook for 60 min | 100°C | ⤺ Speed 1.

7

Transfer the red cabbage to a serving dish, remove the bay leaf, and serve the apple red cabbage as a side dish with poultry, goulash, beef roulades, or roast pork.

German Red Cabbage (Rotkohl)

Air Fry Sausage:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 180°C (350°F) for a few minutes.
  2. Place the sausages in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching each other.
  3. Cook the sausages for 12-15 minutes, turning them halfway through, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Mashed potatoes

CategoryDifficultyBeginner

Mashed potatoes are a timeless and comforting side dish made from boiled, tender potatoes that are mashed and whipped to creamy perfection. This versatile classic is rich in flavor, smooth in texture, and incredibly satisfying. It's typically prepared with butter, milk, or cream, and seasoned with salt and pepper, offering a simple yet irresistible complement to a variety of main courses. Mashed potatoes are a beloved staple, cherished for their warm, homely goodness that pairs beautifully with a wide range of dishes, making them a favorite in many kitchens around the world.

Prep Time10 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time40 mins

Yields2 Servings

 50 g parmesan cheese, cut into pieces (optional)
 600 g water
 300 g floury potatoes (approx. 2-3 potatoes), peeled and cut into pieces
 1 pinch salt
 30 g milk
 15 g butter
Gravy
 1 chicken stock cube
 30 g oyster sauce
 550 g water
 60 g butter
 3 tbsp flour
 ½ tsp onion powder
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
 1 pinch salt

1

Place Parmesan cheese (optional) into mixing bowl and grate 10 sec | Speed 9 . Transfer 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan into a bowl and set aside to use in the mashed potato. Transfer remaining Parmesan into a freezable storage container and place into freezer to store for future use. Rinse mixing bowl.

2

Place water into mixing bowl and insert simmering basket. Weigh potatoes into simmering basket and cook 30 min | Varoma | Speed 2 or until potato is starting to fall apart. Remove simmering basket with aid of spatula and empty mixing bowl.
Depending on the variety of potatoes used, it may be necessary to extend cooking time for 5 minutes.

3

Place cooked potatoes, salt, milk, butter and 1 tablespoon reserved Parmesan (optional) and mash 10 sec | Speed 9. Serve hot.

Gravy
4

Add the stock cubes and water into mixing bowl and mix 15 sec | Speed 4.

5

Add butter, flour (avoiding blades), onion powder, ground pepper and salt, place simmering basket instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid, cook for 10 min | 95°C | ⤺ Speed 1. Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve over the mashed potato or others protein.

Ingredients

 50 g parmesan cheese, cut into pieces (optional)
 600 g water
 300 g floury potatoes (approx. 2-3 potatoes), peeled and cut into pieces
 1 pinch salt
 30 g milk
 15 g butter
Gravy
 1 chicken stock cube
 30 g oyster sauce
 550 g water
 60 g butter
 3 tbsp flour
 ½ tsp onion powder
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
 1 pinch salt

Directions

1

Place Parmesan cheese (optional) into mixing bowl and grate 10 sec | Speed 9 . Transfer 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan into a bowl and set aside to use in the mashed potato. Transfer remaining Parmesan into a freezable storage container and place into freezer to store for future use. Rinse mixing bowl.

2

Place water into mixing bowl and insert simmering basket. Weigh potatoes into simmering basket and cook 30 min | Varoma | Speed 2 or until potato is starting to fall apart. Remove simmering basket with aid of spatula and empty mixing bowl.
Depending on the variety of potatoes used, it may be necessary to extend cooking time for 5 minutes.

3

Place cooked potatoes, salt, milk, butter and 1 tablespoon reserved Parmesan (optional) and mash 10 sec | Speed 9. Serve hot.

Gravy
4

Add the stock cubes and water into mixing bowl and mix 15 sec | Speed 4.

5

Add butter, flour (avoiding blades), onion powder, ground pepper and salt, place simmering basket instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid, cook for 10 min | 95°C | ⤺ Speed 1. Taste, add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve over the mashed potato or others protein.

Mashed potatoes

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