A Cracking Meal
I went to stay with my friend Diane recently and she cooked us a magnificent dinner – full of wonderful flavours and textures. Diane is a an experienced cook and she cares about having tasty, good quality food. She nearly always cooks things from scratch and rarely uses anything prepackaged or processed. She will go beyond the simple, low cost recipes on this website, but I felt that it was worth sharing the vegetable part of this dinner since a vegetable cooked with flavour and panache can liven up an otherwise plain meal – without too much extra cost or effort.
Diane is also an artist and you can see samples of her work www.manicillustrations.com
Red cabbge with apples is so easy to make and makes a delicious and nutritious accompaniment to a roast dinner, sausage and mash or indeed almost any meal
Red Cabbage – Recipes Adapted
The part of this dinner that I wanted to share was a red cabbage dish, which was absolutely delicious. It contained apples, onions, red wine, sugar and seeds. Since I own the same Mary Berry book that she got it from (apparently I recommended it to her) I too have the recipe. The recipe contains red wine and as such is a little too expensive for this website. However instead I adapted the recipe using some ideas from Delia’s braised red cabbage recipes too. The result is delicious and I served it with bangers and mash. It could be a good accompaniment to any meat dish, and would make a great vegetable dish to go with Christmas dinner.
A further advantage is that it can be cooked in advance and frozen – always handy if you are preparing a large meal for guests so I do in fact have a further portion in the freezer, ready to serve the next time we have sausage and mash. It is very easy to prepare, taking only minutes, although it does need time for a long slow cook
A Seasonal Vegetable
Red cabbage is in season and available in the winter months. Cabbage stores well too. That is probably why it has been a popular vegetable throughout the centuries. There is evidence that it was cultivated 2500 years ago. It is an excellent source of fibre and vitamin C. A cabbage has many health giving properties, according to research, including protection against cancer. It is one of those vegetables that feel extra nourishing on a cold winters day. Cooking it with apple, is of course adding to its nutritional value and making good use of the glut of apples from the autumn time. The apples add a sweetness and softness and seem to enhance the flavour of the cabbage.
Interestingly, the recipe includes vinegar which apart from adding flavour, rather fascinatingly, prevents the red in the cabbage from turning blue, which red cabbage will do if just boiled or steamed.
Red Cabbage With ApplesServes 4-6
- 1 red cabbage (1kg / 2lb)
- 3 apples (about 500g / 1lb), peeled and sliced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 60g / 2oz sultanas
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
- Roughly shred the cabbage with a large, sharp knife
- Place the cabbage, apple, garlic, spices, sultanas and white wine vinegar in the casserole
- Stir well
- Dot with butter on the top
- Place in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally
- Serve immediately or cool and refridgerate or freeze for later
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This recipe was originally published in Novemeber 2011 and has been updated in December 2013 with new photographs