It's an old real-estate trick to put a pot with apple cider spiked with spices on the stove to make a home smell inviting. This red cabbage dish — intended to be served with sausage but also tasty with other cozy meals, such as sauerbraten — has the same aromatic effect. After it is cooked on the stove, the cabbage can be transferred to a slow-cooker set on low to keep warm.
Fragrant fall cabbage
4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large head red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 apples, halved, cored and sliced
3/4 cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon allspice
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook bacon until lightly browned, but not crispy, about 4 minutes.
Add cabbage, onion and apples. Stir well to coat with bacon drippings. Cover and cook until vegetables and apples are limp, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper.
Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 20 more minutes. The dish now can be served or held for an hour or more. If you hold it, add several additional tablespoons of vinegar or water to keep it moist. Makes 8 to 10 servings.