Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Red cabbage with orange and spice

Red cabbage is one of winter's highlights. This beautiful vegetable costs very little and goes an incredibly long way – so much so that I end up freezing most of it. We love it with any type of meat and it is particularly good with game. This version includes orange and is fabulous with duck and I'm really looking forward to having it with our Christmas dinner, especially the gammon. Juniper would be another nice addition and would be particularly good with pork. It's also seriously wine-friendly (notably red Burgundy).

This recipe is based on one from a favourite cookery book, Leith's Cookery Bible (although orange isn't included in the original).

1 small red cabbage
1 onion, sliced (red onion also works well)
30g butter
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 large orange, zest removed in large slices with a small paring knife
juice from the orange
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons wine vinegar or cider vinegar
a pinch of ground cloves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

The book says this serves six but, as I like to use a larger cabbage and ramp up the other ingredients, it can serve up to 10.

Start off by shredding the cabbage, discarding any hard stalks. Rinse well.

In a large heavy pan (a preserving pan is ideal), melt the butter and fry the onion until soft. Add the drained, but still wet cabbage, the apples, sugar, vinegar, cloves, orange juice and slices of zest; season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Cover with a lid and allow to cook on a low heat for a couple of hours, stirring occasionally, until soft and reduced in bulk. During cooking, if the cabbage starts drying out, add more water. Check seasoning before serving – it may need more salt, pepper or sugar.


  1. This sounds delicious. I usually cook red cabbage in pomegranate juice at Christmas but think I will try this instead. Thanks!

  2. Thank you Mrs Duck! Your recipe sounds delicious, too. Enjoy and seasons greetings!