Sometimes called red cabbage and at other times purple or even blue cabbage the colour of this vegetable depends on the pH of the soil it is grown in. The more acidic the soil the redder the leaves and so explaining the different names it has depending on where you are.
Red cabbage has a more tightly packed head that green cabbage and is very crunchy. While available pretty much year round autumn and winter are when it is most plentiful and this traditional braise is the prefect cooler weather dish.
I often serve this braised red cabbage dish with a baked potato as a vegetable meal – obviously not vegetarian because of the bacon. Or it is delicious served alongside roast pork or grilled lamb chops. With this longer method of cooking adding an acid ingredient such as
vinegar, lemon juice or wine helps preserve the red colour otherwise the cooked dish can be quite blue.
Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon & Apples
This dish can be made in advance or reheat leftovers for another meal. To reheat, add a 2-3 tbsp water to the pan, cover, place over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium (about 180g each) apples, cored and chopped
1 medium (about 150g) red onion, chopped
200g chopped bacon
1 medium (about 1.5kg) red cabbage, cleaned and chopped
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup quince jelly or other fruit jelly such as crab apple or feijoa
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
1 Place oil, apples, onion and bacon in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion starts to soften.
2 Add cabbage and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes longer.
3 Add 1 cup water, vinegar and jelly, cover, bring to simmering and simmer, stirring from time to time and adding more water if
necessary, for 1-1½ hours or until cabbage is tender. Uncover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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