The humble cabbage is often maligned, but it’s been feeding the masses for thousands of years as one of the earliest domesticated crops. Not only is it nutritionally important, it’s available all year and is incredibly versatile. Could that be the reason that it features in so many traditional Christmas menus? Right the way from the Nordics down to the Med, in some shape or form you’ll find brassicas at the table.
This version uses red cabbage, and takes it’s inspiration from Norway, where it’s traditionally paired with Roast Belly Pork. Easy to cook, sweet and spicy, it feels really luxurious.
Christmas Braised Red Cabbage
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large onion peeled and finely sliced
- 1 large red cabbage outer leaves, stalk and core removed, sliced across the grain approx 5mm
- 2 large bramley apples peeled, cored and diced
- 150 g dark brown sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 sprig thyme
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 5 tbsp cider vinegar
- 300 ml vegetable stock
- salt and pepper to season
- Heat the oil in an large, heavy bottomed saucepan, over a low heat, then fry the onion gently until translucent.
- Add the cabbage and the apple, and stir to mix with the oil and onions.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, stir through well, cover and then simmer over a low heat for approx. one hour thirty minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid to ensure that it doesn't boil dry. If that looks to be happening, add a few more tbsps of water.
- By the time you reach the last 10 minutes of the cook, the cabbage should start to have a dark shiny sheen, and the liquid should almost have been absorbed/evaporated. Taste and season.
- Transfer to a serving dish/oven dish, cover with a sheet of foil, shiny side down, and keep warm until ready to serve.