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Braised Red Cabbage – a classic Christmas side dish

Braised Red Cabbage

Christmas, Cornish, Sides, Vegan | 18th December 2015 | By

No Christmas dinner is complete for me without a dish of steaming braised red cabbage. Slow cook it with an apple and some spices and the humble red cabbage is transformed into a dish fit for a king.

Bach is famous for his Goldberg Variations. My braised red cabbage may not be a work of genius, but like Meister Bach’s work, it’s slightly different each time I make it; I vary the spices and other additions as I see fit. The result is always delicious and it’s one of my favourite vegetable side dishes. Schwartz, that well known purveyor of spices, has an interesting recipe for braised red cabbage on its website and I was keen to try it. The recipe includes the classic accompaniment juniper berries, but also bay leaves and black pepper, all available as Schwartz spices.

For those who didn’t know, I include myself in that number, Schwartz is not a German company; it was founded in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1889 by William Schwartz. At that time it was near impossible to buy pure spices, they were frequently adulterated with all sorts of other materials. William was not happy with this state of affairs and spent his time peddling his pure spices whilst pedalling his bicycle around Nova Scotia.

Braised Red Cabbage

I pretty much followed the recipe as given, but used red onions instead of normal ones and coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. I like to get healthy ingredients in where I can. I also gave it my own little twist by substituting my homemade blackcurrant vinegar for the cider vinegar stated in the recipe. The apple was one from my mother’s garden, which along with the red cabbage grown in Cornwall gave the dish a distinctive Cornish identity. 

Talking of healthy ingredients, red cabbage is highly regarded for its beneficial properties. It’s a phytonutrient treasure trove with masses of vitamins, flavanoids and sulphur compounds. Who needs pills when you can eat this stuff.

CT got home from work and collapsed in a chair. He perked up no end, however, when he heard braised red cabbage was on the menu. It would be a perfect  accompaniment to the lentil and Brazil nut roast I made at the weekend, but it’s also very nice with baked potatoes – which is how we had it. It should be cooked through, but still have a bit of bite to it. Leave it too long and it becomes mushy and loses its lustre.  Done properly, like this, it’s sweet, almost fruity and has a slight tang and a wonderful texture – “this stuff is decidedly moreish”, CT told me. 

Braised Red Cabbage
Serves 8
Braised red cabbage is a classic accompaniment to a good roast dinner. This one is lightly spiced with juniper berries and bay and is both slightly sweet and slightly tart with a great texture.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp coconut oil - or use oil of your choice
  2. 1 large red onion - thinly sliced
  3. 1 large cooking apple - peeled, cored and sliced
  4. 1 tsp dark muscovado sugar
  5. 1/2 large red cabbage - cored and sliced
  6. 2 tbsp blackcurrant vinegar - raspberry vinegar would also be good.
  7. 6 Schwartz juniper berries - roughly crushed
  8. 2 Schwartz bay leaves
  9. 25g sultanas
  10. Schwartz ground black pepper
  11. pinch sea salt flakes
Instructions
  1. Fry the onions in the oil in a large pan over low heat for 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the apples and stir.
  3. Add the sugar, stir and fry for a minute.
  4. Add the cabbage, vinegar, bay leaves, juniper berries and sultanas. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 40 minutes.
  5. Add the salt and pepper, stir and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Adapted from Schwartz Braised Red Cabbage
Adapted from Schwartz Braised Red Cabbage
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
Schwartz pretty much has Christmas covered on the cooking front, so do take a look at their site for more tasty festive recipes.

Extra Veg LogoI’m sending this braised red cabbage off to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary for Extra Veg. One of the great thing about Christmas is all those extra vegetables you get to eat and this is one of them. The challenge comes from Helen of Fuss Free Flavours and Michele over at Utterly Scrummy.

 

Cook Once Eat TwiceThis also goes to Cook Once Eat Twice with Corina over at Searching for Spice. We’ve already had several meals out of this cabbage and it seems the longer it’s left the better it gets.

 

Food Year LinkupAnd as this braised red cabbage is for me, very much a Christmas classic, I’m sending it off to #FoodYearLinkUp at Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen.

 

 

Disclosure: This post is written by me, but in association with Schwartz. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Sammie
    18th December 2015

    Braised red cabbage is one of my favourite sides dishes to have with Christmas dinner, yet I confess I have never made my own. I have no excuse now. Thanks for a fab recipe. Sammie.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th December 2015

      Thanks Sammie. Homemade, as usual is the best. And this is a particularly good recipe šŸ™‚

  2. Leave a Reply

    Jacqueline Meldrum
    18th December 2015

    Is this where I should admit I never make red cabbage? But actually that sounds really good with all those flavours.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th December 2015

      Jac, I’m quite shocked. You don’t like nut roast and you don’t make red cabbage. What do you eat on Christmas day?

  3. Leave a Reply

    Janice
    18th December 2015

    We love red cabbage too, but we don’t tend to have it for Christmas dinner. I guess it’s just family traditions. I love it in a red coleslaw on Boxing Day with the leftovers.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Now coleslaw on boxing day is not something I’ve ever had, but it’s a jolly good idea – I like it Janice šŸ™‚

  4. Leave a Reply

    Camilla
    18th December 2015

    My mum would always make red cabbage similar to this to have with pate and traditional Danish food at Christmas, I think she put blackcurrant cordial in hers.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Ah great minds Camilla. It’s the blackcurrant notes that make it I reckon šŸ˜‰

  5. Leave a Reply

    Leisel
    19th December 2015

    The fact that I don’t know much about any of these ingredients bothers me quite a bit. Looks good though.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Elizabeth
    19th December 2015

    I had no idea Schwartz were a company from Nova Scotia! You learn something new every day! Gorgeous recipe. I’m a big fan of braised red cabbage. šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      I’ve learnt heaps since I’ve been blogging Elizabeth, it’s fun picking up these scraps of info if find.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    19th December 2015

    I adore braised garbage but I don’t think i’ve ever cooked it. I must remedy this this year, yours looks so lovely and spicy!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Dom I’ve never tried cooking garbage and I don’t intend to start any time soon šŸ˜‰

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Thanks Nayna, it’s a lovely colour and luckily it tastes delicious too šŸ™‚

  8. Leave a Reply

    Angie@Angie's Recipes
    19th December 2015

    I haven’t made any braised cabbages this year yet..wish I could get to taste some of yours! It surely looks very delicious.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Thanks Angie. I always forget just how good it is and am surprised anew each year.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Kacie
    19th December 2015

    This has to be one of my favourite side dishes on a traditional Christmas roast dinner. I must remember to get some for Xmas Day in our house!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      19th December 2015

      Oh yes, do remember to get yourself a red cabbage in plenty of time Kacie šŸ™‚

  10. Leave a Reply

    the caked crusader
    20th December 2015

    The only red cabbage we had when I was growing up was a jar – only at Christmas – of Hayward’s pickled red cabbage. It could strip paint it was so harsh. Now my horizon’s have broadened and I like red cabbage!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th December 2015

      Oh horror! Someone gave me a jar of bought pickled cabbage once. It sat in the back of my fridge for several years before eventually finding its way onto the compost heap. Harsh is the word.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Lesley @ Cheap Vegetarian Meals
    20th December 2015

    Choclette, this looks absolutely awesome. We’re having a vegetarian Christmas at home this year so I’ve been looking for recipes to wow the family so they don’t miss meat at all. This is definitely going on the menu.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th December 2015

      Thanks so much Lesley. I hope the family enjoy this as much as we do and good look with your vegetarian Christmas dinner.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
    20th December 2015

    What a beautiful dish!! I could picture it at the holiday table. I really like cabbage and I don’t usually think of red cabbage. I don’t know why not — it is so colorful! Thank you for sharing.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th December 2015

      Thanks Marisa. The colour is so good at this time of year, but it tastes very good too šŸ™‚

  13. Leave a Reply

    Oana @AdoreFoods
    21st December 2015

    Braised red cabbage used to be one of my favorite dishes at Christmas time! Thank you for reminding me of it šŸ™‚ Yum!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st December 2015

      It’s funny how we go in and out of favourite dishes which sometimes get forgotten then suddenly remembered again by a chance remark – or post šŸ˜‰

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st December 2015

      Cabbage doesn’t always have the best reputation, but I love it.

  14. Leave a Reply

    nazima
    21st December 2015

    love braised cabbage – great way to add a nice a tangy side dish to sunday lunches!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st December 2015

      Yes Nazima and it’s nice to have the splash of colour too šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st December 2015

      That’s a shocking statement from such a veg loving person Helen. Maybe this Christmas?

  15. Leave a Reply

    Glamorous Glutton
    21st December 2015

    I love red cabbage but rarely make it. This is a fab recipe and different from the one I make. I’ll have to give it a try. GG

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st December 2015

      Thanks GG. I can’t really take credit for the recipe, but I can attest it’s a good one šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd December 2015

      Haha and there was me thinking it’s what everyone ate for Christmas šŸ˜‰

  16. Leave a Reply

    Ciao Florentina
    22nd December 2015

    It has been a long time since I’ve had this. Brings back sweet memories of Childhood days.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      22nd December 2015

      Revive those memories some more Florentina and make some, it’s delicious.

  17. Leave a Reply

    Charlotte Oates
    22nd December 2015

    I’ve never had braised red cabbage for Christmas dinner. I’m not in charge of the Christmas day cooking this year, but I’ll have to give it a try when I am (or perhaps with a Sunday roast in the new year šŸ™‚ ).

    Happy Christmas Choclette x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd December 2015

      Have it with a roast in the new year Charlotte – you can’t go another year without trying it šŸ˜‰

  18. Leave a Reply

    Corina
    22nd December 2015

    It sounds beautiful and perfect as a Christmas side dish! I really don’t cook with cabbage enough and should try something like this sometime. Thank you so much for joining in with #CookOnceEatTwice

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd December 2015

      Cabbage can be so delicious if cooked in the right way. It’s one of my favourite vegetables.

  19. Leave a Reply

    Joy @ Joy Love Food
    23rd December 2015

    My husband, who is from The Netherlands, makes something similar, but his doesn’t have the Juniper berries or sultanas, we will have to give your version a try, it sounds delicious!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      23rd December 2015

      Oh juniper berries are a must Joy šŸ˜‰ I’m now wondering what a Dutch version would be like.

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