Red cabbage and apple recipe

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  • Vegetarian
serves: 4
Skill: medium
Cost: cheap
5-a-day: 1
Prep: 10 min
Cooking: 2 hr 15 min
(plus overnight chilling)
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  • This red cabbage and apple side requires overnight chilling to allow the flavours to percolate. It’s worth the effort, especially if you’re making it for your Christmas dinner.

    Apples and sultanas give a fruity kick to this red cabbage side dish. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves add delicately spiced notes. The addition of apple cider vinegar offsets the sweetness of the fruit, leaving a delightfully tangy flavour. To make the dish vegan, simply switch the butter to coconut oil or vegan margarine. This has to be one of our top red cabbage recipes.


    • 35g (1¼ oz) unsalted butter
    • 2 onions, finely chopped
    • 50g (1¾ oz) sultanas
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 1 red cabbage, shredded
    • 2 pinches freshly
    • Grated nutmeg
    • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp ground cloves
    • 3tbsp dark muscovado sugar
    • 3tbsp cider vinegar
    • 2 Bramley apples, cored
    • and cut into large chunks
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
    • Salt and black pepper


    • Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F, gas mark 2). Melt the butter in a large heavy-based casserole dish over a low heat and cook the onions and sultanas for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until the onions have started to colour. Add the remaining ingredients, except the apples and orange zest, and cover with a tight-fitting lid.

    • Transfer to the oven and cook for 1½ hrs, stirring at half-hour intervals. Remove from the oven and stir in the apples and orange zest, then return to the oven for a further 30 mins. Allow to come to room temperature, cover and refrigerate overnight.

    • Just before serving, reheat over a medium heat for about 15 mins, until piping hot. Season to taste.

    Top tips for making red cabbage and apple

    Add a zingy flavour by adding the grated zest of an unwaxed lemon.

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