It may be overlooked on our plates at Christmas among the slices of turkey and piles of pigs in blankets, but it seems red cabbage is fast becoming a British seasonal staple.
The vegetable is squeezing in alongside sprouts, roasties and bread sauce as an essential component of a festive dinner – but it seems many families aren’t sure how to prepare it.
Red cabbage was the most searched recipe on the website BBC Food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day last year.
Recipes online included red cabbage with beetroot and red cabbage with coriander seed, but braised red cabbage with cider and apples was the most popular.
Red cabbage was the most searched recipe on the website BBC Food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day last year
Foodies online have been raving over the vegetable, with many sharing snaps of their dishes with a side of the healthy snack
The vegetable has grown in popularity over the years thanks to several creative recipes from celebrity cooks, including Nigella Lawson, Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver
Red cabbage recipes
DELIA SMITH’S TRADITIONAL BRAISED CABBAGE WITH APPLES
You will need: A large casserole with a tight-fitting lid
Preheat the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. First, discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk.
Then shred the rest of the cabbage finely, using your sharpest knife (although you can shred it in a food processor, I prefer to do it by hand because it doesn’t come out so uniform).
Next, in a fairly large casserole, arrange a layer of shredded cabbage and some seasoning, then a layer of chopped onions and apples with a sprinkling of garlic, spices and sugar. Continue with these alternate layers until everything is in.
Now pour in the wine vinegar and lastly add dots of butter on the top.
Put a tight lid on the casserole and let it cook very slowly in the oven for 2-2½ hours, stirring everything around once or twice during the cooking.
Red cabbage, once cooked, will keep warm without coming to any harm and it will also reheat very successfully.
And yes, it does freeze well, so all in all, it’s a real winner of a recipe.
MARCO PIERRE’S ROAST PARTRIDGE WITH BLACK PUDDING AND RED CABBAGE
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Tightly wrap the partridges in the bacon and tuck a sage leaf on top. Brush with the softened butter or oil. Roast for around 18-20 minutes, depending on the size of the partridge.
To check the bird is cooked, insert a skewer between the leg and the breast. If the juices run clear, it is cooked. Once the partridge is roasted, remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, either fry or poach the black pudding until hot and heat the gravy and red cabbage. Transfer the juices from the partridge roasting tin to the simmering gravy.
To serve, warm the roasting tin or serving platter and spread it with the braised cabbage. Arrange the roast partridge on top and add the black pudding and cinnamon stick. Serve immediately with the hot gravy.
BRAISED RED CABBAGE
Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the hard, woody core from the base, then finely slice the leaves into ribbons.
Heat the vinegar in a large saucepan, add the sugar and, when it has dissolved, add the sliced cabbage, currants, apple, cinnamon stick and water. Stir well.
Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook like this for 45-60 minutes, until the cabbage is tender and the vinegar has reduced to a syrup.
Taste and season with salt and black pepper. If the cabbage is a bit sharp, stir in a little more sugar.
DR MICHAEL MOSLEY’S MINUTE STEAK AND CRUNCHY COLESLAW
Serves 2 l 430cals per serving
Season the steaks with salt and black pepper or a sprinkle of steak seasoning. For the slaw, finely shred the cabbage and place in a bowl. Grate the carrot and apple in and add the spring onions.
Whisk together the vinegar, mayonnaise and oil, then stir this through the cabbage mixture. Heat a griddle pan and cook the steaks to your liking. Slice diagonally and serve with the coleslaw on the side.
PRAWNS & RED CABBAGE ON SOURDOUGH
Serves 2 l 270cals per serving
For the dressing
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and honey, if using, in a large bowl. Add the red cabbage, carrot and mixed seeds and toss together to make a slaw.
Put each slice of sourdough bread on a plate and top with the watercress or salad leaves.
Spoon some red cabbage slaw on top, then scatter with the prawns. Squeeze over a little extra lemon juice and season with freshly ground black pepper to serve.
The vegetable has grown in popularity over the years thanks to several creative recipes from celebrity cooks, including Nigella Lawson, Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver.
The variety is one of the most nutritious cabbages – containing ten times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as the traditional green type.
Second place on the BBC Food list was less surprising – turkey.
Food experts believe red cabbage recipes topped the search because many households will find out how to cook their turkey in advance of the big day, but will research the accompaniments at the last minute.
The variety is one of the most nutritious cabbages – containing ten times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as the traditional green type
Another person shared a picture on Instagram revealing a huge pile of red cabbage ‘simmering away’ with ‘nice spices’
One Briton revealed they had created a red cabbage ‘steak’ roasted in olive oil and balsamic with added walnuts
Foodies online have been raving about the vegetable across social media, with many listing it among their favourite side-dishes for Christmas day.
What are the health benefits of red cabbage?
Purple cabbage, also referred to as red cabbage, belongs to the Brassica genus of plants.
It is low in calories yet a good source of fiber and vitamins A, C, K, and B6.
It also contains small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
Some shared snaps of their delicious dinners, with red cabbage acting as a starring vegetable.
While many said they had enjoyed the vegetable steamed, others had pickled the cabbage.
One Briton revealed they had created a red cabbage ‘steak’ roasted in olive oil and balsamic with added walnuts.
Meanwhile Twitter users went on to share their tips and tricks for making the most of the vegetable over the festive season.
One said: ‘I absolutely love braised red cabbage. Might be a little odd but there you go.’
‘Another added: ‘I absolutely love spiced red cabbage.’
‘Love red cabbage and sprouts with my roast turkey Christmas lunch.’
A third said they ‘could eat steamed red cabbage every day.’
One person revealed their plans for Christmas dinner, explaining: ‘Yes, mashed suede with a little maple syrup,red cabbage with apple and onion plus the list.
‘Just the two of us this year but the full works.’
One excited Twitter user wrote: ‘Imagine not enjoying cabbage and sweet potato? A girl could never.’
Foodies have been raving over the vegetable online, with many saying they ‘absolutely love’ the dish
Jazz up your side dish with port and cinnamon
Peel off large red cabbage’s outer leaves, cut into quarters and remove core. Slice thinly.
Heat 25g of butter in a large saucepan, then tip in two finely chopped red onions. Gently fry until softened (about 5 mins).
Add one orange’s zest to the pan along with a cinnamon stick, then cook for one more minute.
Add the cabbage, 150ml of port, 1tbsp of red wine vinegar, the juice from the orange and 150ml of water.
Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
Cover the pan and cook for 45mins/hour until cabbage is softened.