I didn’t grow up eating cabbage and I was always wary of it until I tried this dish in a German restaurant while I was on vacation in Las Vegas. After that I had to try and make it at home. I think this is really supposed to be more of a sweet and sour recipe, but I prefer it on the sweet side. If you want to amp up the sour you can always adjust the vinegar and brown sugar to your taste.
I had never cooked anything with whole cloves in it before beyond studding a holiday ham with them. I thought it was odd to put wood-like whole cloves into this dish and thought they would need to be removed before serving but they really soften up and disappear into the cabbage.
I started making this to go with pork and spaetzle but gave it a try with the Thanksgiving turkey a few years back. It pairs well with turkey and brings a gorgeous purple to the table. I usually get raised eyebrows from guests who are brave enough to get past their preconceptions of cabbage and sample it. They usually come back for more. Like cranberry sauce, this dish can be used post-holiday as a condiment on either ham or turkey sandwiches.