This is one of those -must-have side dishes for the Christmas table – perfect with roast goose, turkey, venison or pork. It can be made ahead the day before and re-heats really easily. It freezes well too if you want to get ahead of the game. My secret ingredient is the addition of chopped prunes in fruit juice with a touch of chilli to get the hot, sweet and sour flavour burst I love. A little leftover cranberry sauce (home made not shop bought) mixed in at the end can add an extra dimension too.
- Serves 8
- 900g red cabbage
- 1 small 240g tin of prunes in juice, chopped
- 2 Cox’s apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely grated
- A pinch of chilli flakes
- A grating of nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsps brown sugar
- 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
- 10g unsalted butter
- Salt and black pepper
- Optional: 1 tbsp cranberry sauce
- To prep the red cabbage, discard any tough outer leaves, cut it into quarters and remove the hard white stalk. Shred the rest of the cabbage finely with a sharp knife.
- In a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of the shredded cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of the onion, apple, prunes, garlic, spices and sugar. Keep adding layers until everything is in.
- Pour in the red wine vinegar and the prune juice and dot the top with the butter.
- Add the casserole lid – it must fit tightly and let it cook slowly in the oven at 150C for 2-21/2 hours. After an hour, remove it from the oven and give it a good stir before returning it for the additional cooking time. The cabbage, onion and apples should break down together and have a delicious sweet and sour quality. Taste it at the end of the cooking time to see if the seasoning needs adjusting.
- Serve it on the day, re-heat it the next day or freeze it.
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