Okay, so this side dish is literally my favourite thing! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m proud of of making it, or the fact that it simply tastes delicious! I’m really quite torn.
I looked up a few recipes online (to accompany my chicken pie) and honestly couldn’t decide which one to go for, so I went for a simple combination. I more or less looked at what was already in the cupboard and sought out the closest, and cheapest, way to replicate and combine the recipes. I bought a couple of things from the shops, but didn’t go for the things I was least likely to use again – I like to buy things that are handy to have in the cupboard, not ones that could waste away (not cool).
You will need:
- red cabbage (I was feeding two so went for the smallest one – but again, left overs are never a bad thing)
- sugar (preferably brown, but don’t hurt yourself if you have white)
- 1/3 of a tall cup or glass of balsamic vinegar
- red red wine (also treat yourself to a glass or few)
- 1 or 2 red apples (I went for the pink lady variety to add some sweetness)
- garlic (but that’s just me)
Now, braised cabbage takes a little while, but for me this was perfect! Simply start with the red cabbage and then move onto the main event. For instance, when I make the chicken pie, I get the cabbage on first and then move onto the pie – it allows the cabbage to simmer, soften and get all the more flavoursome.
- chop the cabbage and garlic (or, crush the garlic, or not use it at all)
- add a knob of butter to a sauce pan and melt
- add the cabbage and garlic, covering in the butter and allow to fry for about 3 minutes
- while the cabbage is frying, peel, decore and grate the apple(s)
- once the cabbage has softened, get the apple and 1 & 1/2 tsp of sugar in there, mixing it in and allowing to fry for a further couple on minutes
- add the balsamic vinegar and stir
- add a few glugs or red wine – you don’t want to swamp the cabbage, so make sure it’s not completely covered
- stir it all together and put on a very low heat to simmer, covering with a lid – do check/stir occasionally and if the pan is looking a little dry get some more wine and a little balsamic vinegar in there
- when the rest of your meal is ready, the cabbage will be too, so serve alongside your main and enjoy!
Incase anyone is unsure, “braise” is a two-park cooking process which simply means to first lightly fry your food and then stew it – done.
You should be left with a really sweet, yet acidic, rich flavour – which is also lovely and soft with some crunch. It’s got something for everyone!
I first paired the cabbage with my chicken pie, but this will also be a great participant for a roast dinner. I also cannot stress the greatness of leftovers – I made pie, cabbage and mash for my partner and I, and this provided dinner for two nights (we may have given ourselves bigger portions than intended, but oh so tasty – I regret nothing).