Braised side dishes don’t get better than this! If you’re looking for a side dish with that extra special ‘wow’ factor, look no further than braised red cabbage.
The perfect side to your festive feast, this dish is so easy to make and has a depth of flavour that will blow your Christmas stockings off!
Braised red cabbage recipe
Many people think of cabbage as anything but interesting. This recipe goes to show that you can take a humble ingredient and turn it into something incredible!
With the right ingredients and plenty of time to let them release their flavours, you end up with something really special.
So, if you’re looking for a sumptuous side dish to serve up at Christmas time, you can’t get much better than this braised beauty.
Have I whet your appetite? Good. Let’s get going.
Before you get started with this recipe, it’s important to have the right equipment. There’s nothing worse than trying to follow a recipe, only to find that you have to make do with poor quality cooking utensils.
Having a reliable, multi-use food processor makes cooking so much easier. I can highly recommend the K-Mojo Digimaster. It’ll save you so much hassle and time.
This state-of-the-art digital food processor comes with ten different attachments. It pretty much covers every base when it comes to cooking from grinding spices (see my chaat masala recipe) to kneading dough (see my Peshwari naan recipe) and everything in between.
For this braised red cabbage recipe, I used the slicer function. It took me seconds to get thinly sliced cabbage and onions, something that would have been a pain in the proverbial otherwise.
If you’re like me and you’re not a fan of fiddling and faffing in the kitchen, chopping and slicing can feel like a real chore.
So, let this amazing machine do the work for you. Once you’ve used it a few times, you’ll wonder how you ever got on without it.
Braised red cabbage with apples
This braised red cabbage recipe includes apples. Apple and cabbage go great together! There’s just something about the sweet tartness of apple that works really well with the savoury and subtle sweetness of cabbage. Especially when combined with spices!
Braised red cabbage with bacon
The best thing about cabbage is the way it allows other flavours to sing! It’s a great base flavour that really takes on other flavours.
So, if you feel like adding an extra salty, savoury dimension to this side dish, simply add some chopped bacon or pancetta into the dish.
How to prepare cabbage
Before you cook braised cabbage, remove any grubby looking leaves from the outside. If they’re tired or discoloured, don’t use them.
Next, cut the cabbage into wedges, then cut out the stalk. While this recipe works best without the stalk, don’t throw it away! There are plenty of things you can do with vegetable stalks – they’re great in a salad for instance. Plus, they’re very good for you.
Once you’ve removed any tired outer leaves and the stalk, feed the cabbage into the K-Mojo Digimaster. You’ll end up with perfectly sliced red cabbage.
What to look for when buying red cabbage
The best time to buy cabbages is in the winter. This wonderful, unsung vegetable is in season between September and December. This makes it the perfect side dish for your festive feast.
Pick dense, heavy cabbages with firm outer leaves. Soft, light cabbages are most likely turning bad and won’t taste anywhere near as good.
What is braised red cabbage?
Braising cabbage means to cook it low and slow in an oven dish, along with other ingredients. It’s normally cooked with liquids, such as cider vinegar, to soften it. Spices are also added, along with salt and pepper, to give the dish an extra depth of flavour.
How do you cook red cabbage?
Aside from braising cabbage, you can also boil it. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the sliced cabbage and boil until tender, stirring occasionally. This should take around 8–10 mins, depending on how thinly sliced the cabbage is.
You can also steam cabbage. Use a steamer basket over a bowl of boiling water and cook until the cabbage is tender. This should take around 12–15 minutes.
Sauteing cabbage is easy and delicious. Heat a large saucepan on a medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter, then your sliced cabbage, along with salt, pepper and any spices you want to use. Sauté or 12–15 minutes, or until crispy and tender.
Do you cook red cabbage the same as green cabbage?
Red and green cabbage have a very similar flavour. They also take the same amount of time to cook. So, in that respect, they’re pretty much interchangeable.
The only real difference when it comes to cooking them, is their colour. Red cabbage can change to a bluey colour when cooked. Luckily, there’s a little trick to stop this happening…
How do you stop red cabbage from turning blue?
As long as it’s acidic, it’ll stay red. When it’s cooked, that acid is lost. This will lead to horrible looking blue cabbage.
The way to keep the colour is simple. Add something acidic. For this dish, I’ve added a dash of vinegar. You could also use lemon juice.
I’ve also added apple to this recipe. Not only are they great when paired with cabbages, but they keep that lovely colour too. Bonus!
How long does braised red cabbage keep?
If you have braised cabbage leftovers, you can keep it covered in the fridge for 2–3 days.
Can you freeze braised red cabbage?
Braised cabbage freezes really well. If you want to save your leftovers for longer, store them in an airtight freezer-friendly container. Place it in the freezer and freeze it for up to 3 months.
How do you reheat braised red cabbage?
Defrost in the fridge overnight, then simply reheat in a large saucepan on the hob. Reheat it on a medium heat for 5–8 minutes.
Is braised red cabbage good for you?
Just one serving contains over half your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, thiamine and riboflavin.
It may help fight certain cancers, strengthen your bones, promote a healthy heart, improve your gut health and fight inflammation.
That’s just the cabbage. Then there’s the amazing mood boosting, health enhancing benefits of the other ingredients in this recipe. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and sultanas are good for you.
What does red cabbage go with?
Lamb leg steaks – an incredibly delicious recipe, this one is great for a special occasion and goes particularly great with cabbage side dishes
Whole smoked turkey – take Christmas to another level with this smoked masterpiece
Smoked beef short ribs – if you’ve never tried smoked beef short ribs prepare your tastebuds for a supreme treat
Indian roast leg of lamb – if you want to spice things up this Christmas, this is the recipe for you. Plus, it goes great with vegetable side dishes like this one
Smoked chicken – another smoked sensation, this one will make your festive feast extra merry
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Braised Red Cabbage is the classic Christmas side dish that goes well with roast meat. Cooked low and slow with wine and spices, it’s loved by all.
- 1 red cabbage, outer leaves removed
- 250g (½lb) red onions, peeled and halved
- 250g (½lb) apples, cored, peeled and cubed
- 100g (½ cup) sultanas
- 60ml (¼ cup) port
- 28g (2 tbsp) brown sugar
- 60ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegar
- 1g (¼ tsp) ground cloves
- 1g (¼ tsp) ground cinnamon
- 1g (¼ tsp) ground nutmeg
- 14g (1 tbsp) butter/oil [optional]
- First, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160 °C fan / 355°F / gas mark 4.
cut the cabbage into wedges and then cut out the stalk.
- Using the slicer attachment (thick side up) of the K-Mojo DigiMaster, feed the cabbage and onions into the tube until everything is sliced.
- Tip the cabbage and onions into a large ovenproof dish, then add the apples, sultanas, port, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until well mixed.
- Place the lid on the dish and transfer to the oven to cook for 1½ hours. Stir the cabbage every 20-30 minutes during this period. If you don’t like your cabbage al dente, cook for longer until desired texture is achieved.
- Remove from the oven and stir in the butter, if using, before serving to give a glossy finish.
- Season to taste and serve immediately with your favourite main course. Enjoy!
- This dish is ideal for making ahead and stores well in the fridge for up to 4 days. This recipe freezes well.
- To reheat, warm through on the stove.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: British
Keywords: braised red cabbage, red cabbage side dish, side dish recipe, vegan red cabbage recipe, roast dinner side dish
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