The most searched-for recipe on the BBC Food website on Christmas Eve 2020 in the UK was braised red cabbage.
Why we research cooking the turkey well in advance but leave how to make the side dishes until the last minute is a mystery.
I prepare as much of the Christmas dinner as possible in advance. Braised red cabbage can be made and kept in the fridge a couple of days beforehand.
Red cabbage is in season from September to December so it’s at its peak just before Christmas. You pickle it, boil it, stir-fry it or shred it and eat it raw in a salad. It is highly nutritious and full of vitamins.
It also adds a vibrant splash of colour to the dinner table with its reddish/purple hue.
Braised Red Cabbage with Apple
- 1 kg red cabbage
- 450 g onion chopped small
- 450 g cooking apple peeled, cored and chopped small
- 1 clove garlic chopped very small
- ¼ whole nutmeg freshly grated
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons wine vinegar
- 15 g butter
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2
- First discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk.
- Then shred the rest of the cabbage finely, using your sharpest knife (although you can shred it in a food processor, I prefer to do it by hand: it doesn’t come out so uniform). Next, in a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in. Now pour in the wine vinegar, lastly add dots of butter on the top.
- Put a tight lid on the casserole and let it cook very slowly in the oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking.