Braised red cabbage

Braised red cabbage

How I cook
Jason Lowe

This beguiling sweet-sour vegetable dish has a festive, wintry feel and is perfect served alongside baked ham. It has the colour and shine of a Christmas bauble catching the light of a candle.


Quantity Ingredient
50g unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 teaspoon cloves
4-5 juniper berries
3 bay leaves
2 bramleys or other sharp cooking apples
2 tablespoons raisins
1 medium red cabbage
2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons caster sugar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar


  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan over a low heat, then add the onion, cloves, juniper berries and bay leaves and cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and translucent, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, quarter and core the apples, but don’t bother to remove the skin.
  2. Add the apples and raisins to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes. Meanwhile, discard the outer leaves from the cabbage, then slice into quarters and cut out the core. Shred the cabbage fairly finely.
  3. Add the wine vinegar and sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the cabbage. Cover and cook for 30 minutes until the cabbage is very tender, stirring every now and then to ensure that it does not stick to the base of the pan. Season with salt and plenty of pepper.
  4. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for an hour or so, to allow the flavours to get to know one another. Before serving, add the balsamic vinegar and reheat gently. Taste the seasoning and adjust as necessary.
  5. Serve the braised cabbage steaming hot – the aroma of cloves and juniper will fill the room.
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