A bird’s best buddy

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Braised red cabbage is a firm favourite
in our family. It’s an excellent accompaniment to a roast lunch as it
can happily sit for a while on a low heat – or in the bottom oven of
the Aga – leaving you free to concentrate on the roast potatoes or
steaming your greens to perfection. It suits toad in the hole or
chicken, but is truly wonderful with a slightly fattier roast like
pork belly or a slow-roasted shoulder of lamb. It’s perfect for an
Easter lunch and even better at Christmas day when oven-space is at a
premium.

You can make this the day before and
re-heat it at the last minute, even in a – dare I say it? – the
microwave.

Here, I’ve jazzed up the usual version
with clementines and cranberries to make it more Christmassy. The
result has a perfect sweet/sour balance and makes a glorious
accompaniment to what can otherwise be a very rich meal.

Braised red cabbage (serves 4-6 as a
side-dish)

Ingredients

  • 550g red cabbage
  • 2 shallots or 1 red onion
  • Zest and juice of 2 clementines
  • A handful of dried cranberries or dried
    cherries
  • 3 juniper berries, crushed
  • a cinnamon stick
  • a few cloves
  • 3 tbs muscavado sugar
  • 3 tbs cider vinegar
  • 25g butter

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 140┬║C.

Finely slice red cabbage, removing
woody core. This is best done on a mandolin. Pop into a large, heavy
casserole dish with a lid. Finely slice shallots and add to cabbage
along with clementine zest and juice, cranberries or cherries plus
all ingredients except cloves. I crush the heads of these against the
side of the pan and throw the rest away – it saves someone cracking
their tooth on one, and you only really want a hint of clove anyway.

Pop in oven for three hours, stirring
occasionally, and serve hot alongside your roast. Remove the cinnamon
stick, or place jauntily on top. You could easily make this the day
before and re-heat when needed – some say the taste is better for a
bit of maturing.

One comment

  1. i just made this but i’m using red wine vinegar as you can’t find cider vinegar anywhere in france. it’s in the oven and smells delicious.

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