Braised red cabbage

This is a wonderful dish to cook, a robust rustic dish that matches game and richly-flavoured meats to perfection and keeps forever in the fridge for reheating, or will freeze beautifully if required.

Not everybody likes the sweet-sour flavour but don’t let that put you off.  Also worth keeping raw red cabbage for coleslaw and other salads – the colour is stunning and the flavour most unlike other cabbages.


  • Red cabbage, shredded finely (about half will make a good batch braised)
  • 1 onion, shredded
  • 1 cooking apple, peeled, cored & finely sliced – with lemon juice to preserve the colour
  • A dessertspoon full of sultanas
  • Approx. 3-4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar & balsamic vinegar (for a zingy lift)
  • Teaspoon redcurrant jelly (optional)
  • Pinch each of cinnamon, mace & allspice
  • Fresh ground nutmeg
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • Approx. 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar (ideally light muscovado or similar)
  • Salt & fresh-milled black pepper

Heat some oil in a heavy casserole on the hob – a perfect job for a Le Creuset, if you have one!  Add red cabbage, onion and apple, then stir well to get coated in the oil.  Add sultanas, spices and sugar and stir well in.  Add wine vinegar and bring back to the boil for a further minute.  Add about 100ml of boiling water, bring back to the boil once again, then put the lid on your casserole tightly.

Put in a slow oven (bottom oven  of the Aga in my case) and cook slowly for c2-3 hours, checking every now and again.  Add further boiling water if required, just to keep it moist – there should be some liquid left when cooking is complete, and the apple should have completely dissolved.  Stir well before serving and remove bay leaves and cloves.  Stir in the redcurrant jelly if you are using it, et voila…

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