Red cabbage with chestnuts and bacon

Red cabbage with chestnuts and bacon

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1 large red cabbage
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 red onions
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
200g peeled, roasted vacuum-packed chestnuts
100ml red wine
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Discard the outer leaves from the cabbage and cut it into quarters through the stalk. Remove and discard the core and shred the cabbage finely.
  2. Derind the bacon rashers and cut into strips. Halve, peel and finely slice the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the bacon and onions and fry over a medium heat until they are starting to turn brown. Peel and crush the garlic, add to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the cabbage and stir so that it is evenly coated in the oil. Crumble the chestnuts into large chunks and add to the cabbage with the wine and balsamic vinegar. Cook for 10–15 minutes, or until the cabbage has softened and the raw flavour of the alcohol has cooked away.
  4. Season the cabbage with sugar, salt and pepper to taste before serving.


  • Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and pancetta: Use 500 g Brussels sprouts in place of the red cabbage and 75 g pancetta, cut into lardons, instead of bacon. Omit the wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Trim off the outer leaves of the sprouts, if necessary, and trim the root end, leaving the sprout intact. If they are large, cut in half lengthways. Cook in simmering salted water for 2 minutes until just tender, then drain and refresh in cold water. Add to the frying pan as for the cabbage and sauté for 2–3 minutes over a medium heat, to heat through. Don’t let the pancetta and onions brown too much. Taste and season with salt and black pepper and a little sherry vinegar, then serve.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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