Christmas-spiced red cabbage


The colour of red cabbage is just incredible don't you think? How could you see something so bright and vibrant and not be tempted to give it a try? Well - quite easily if you're my kids apparently but that's fine. Not everything I make has to be for them and ever since we started having a Christmas meal with our friends in London every December this red cabbage recipe has been an essential part of our festive table.

Our friend Russ, now more often called Uncle Wuss, has made this without fail every year since we started the tradition way back in the dark ages (circa 2004 I think).

This is my take on his recipe. It's suitable for vegans and vegetarians and is the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas meal. If you're planning a veggie or vegan Christmas this year why not try this with my parsnip, chestnut and sage wreath and lots of roast potatoes of course?

Here's how to make Christmas-spiced red cabbage:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 eating apples, grated
3 cloves
3 star anise
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
800g red cabbage, shredded

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based pan with a lid. Add the sliced red onion, stir and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Stir occasionally.
2. Add the grated apple, the spices and the vinegar. Stir, then add the red cabbage bit by bit, stirring as you go so that it's coated in the spices.
3. Cover and cook on a low heat for an hour or until the cabbage is cooked through.
4. Serve with a roast dinner.