A delicious recipe using red cabbage, fragrant spices & apples or pears; whilst this is happily cooking away, the spicy smell pervades the kitchen & indeed the rest of the house and heralds the start of my festive baking & freezing season - who needs expensive pot-pourries! Not only is this dish delectable to eat alongside turkey, pork, beef and hams in particular - but the colour is just gorgeous, a rich jewelled ruby red! This cabbage can be kept warm for long periods, reheated and also freezes very well, making it a very well behaved recipe!!
- 2 lbs red cabbage, shredded finely
- 4 large onions, peeled & finely diced
- 4 large apples or 4 large pears, NOT peeled, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled & finely minced
- 4 tablespoons soft brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 ounce butter
- Discard outer leaves of the red cabbage and ut into quarters. Cut out the central woody root and then shred the quarters very finely. Place in a bowl. Cut the apples or pears into quarters, core them & then slice into fine dice and set aside in another bowl.
- Place peeled and diced onions into another bowl & make sure all the other ingredients are measured and to hand!
- If cooking in a conventional dutch oven or Le Creuset type casserole dish, turn oven on to 180 C or 360°F It can be cooked on top of the stove too.
- For cooking in the crockpot - take the inner crock out and start layering the ingredients: Red cabbage, then salt & pepper; Apples or pears, onions & garlic, then the spices & brown sugar;keep layering this way until everything has been used up.
- (If you would like it slghtly spicier, add a little more spices, but no more than 1 teaspoon per spice, as it will be too spiced & will detract from the apple/pear & red cabbage flavours!).
- Dot the top of the red cabbage with the butter and pour over the red wine vinegar.
- Season once more with salt & pepper and cook for 6 to 12 hours on High in the crockpot, until everything has broken down, is soft and it is a rich red colour.
- For conventional cooking - cook for about 2 - 2 1/2 hours at 180 C or 360°F I.
- It can be cooked on the stove top too; takes about 2 - 3 hours on a low heat, just a slow simmer.
- Pears can be used as well, and I sometimes add a handful of cranberries for a really festive touch!