Soup in bowl with spoon.

Sweet-and-Sour Beef Cabbage Soup

Comforting old world sweet and sour cabbage soup made with beef short ribs, cabbage, red wine vinegar, brown sugar and allspice.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Sweet and sour beef cabbage soup, sweet and sour cabbage soup with short ribs, beef cabbage soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 274kcal
Author Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ head green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 12 whole allspice berries
  • 2 (14½-oz) cans stewed tomatoes, broken up by hand ~ or in a blender
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice ~ original recipe calls for ½ tsp, season to your taste


  • In large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Season ribs with salt and pepper.  Brown ribs on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Remove to plate, keeping all fat in pot, and set aside.  To pot, add sliced onion, sprinkle with a little salt, and stir and cook until translucent, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes.  Pour out/drain fat.   
  • Return browned short ribs to pot and add water, cabbage and allspice berries.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any foam that surfaces to the top.
  • Add broken up stewed tomatoes, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, pepper, and ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground allspice (to taste).  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Bring back to boil, then lower and simmer until meat has pulled at least ½-inch from the bone, about 30 more minutes.  Skim as much surface fat as you can.
  • Remove beef short ribs to cutting board.  Cut meat off bone and into bite-sized pieces, trimming any fat.  Return beef to soup pot.
  • Taste soup and adjust for salt and pepper.  If broth is too weak, continue simmering until flavors are more concentrated.  Let cool and then refrigerate overnight.  Remove any hardened fat from surface.  Reheat and serve.


Calories: 274kcal