JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Braised red cabbage


















I'm having a bit of a cook-up this morning, finishing up what's in the fridge, and getting ahead for the busy days to come. One of the things I am making is a good supply of braised red cabbage for the freezer. I'm making it plain, so that I can change the flavourings when I come to reheat it. At that point I might add apples, or redcurrant jelly, or quince jelly, or lots of onions, or spices - say, cloves, star anise, cinnamon.

Braised red cabbage

Shred one red cabbage. I used the slicing blade on my Magimix for an instant result, but I have done it with a knife in the past, it doesn't take long. Put it in a large shallow pan with a close-fitting lid. Add wine vinegar and water in the ratio 1:2, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan - don't go mad here, better to put in too little and have to add to it, otherwise you'll have to boil off the excess liquid. Sprinkle on sugar and salt, in the ratio 2:1. Don't worry too much about the exact amounts, you'll be able to correct the seasonings when you reheat the cabbage. Mix well. Cover, and cook very slowly on a low heat ... start checking after 30-40 minutes, but it might well take over an hour.

When it's cool, decant into freezer containers, label, and freeze. I would aim to put one cabbage into four containers, and mark it accordingly (1/4 large red cabbage, etc). It might mean thawing two at once, but there's more flexibility, and, anyway, smaller containers are easier to thaw.

To use:

Thaw in the fridge, ie slowly. Tip the cabbage into a saucepan or lidded casserole, and add your chosen seasoning - about a tablespoon of jelly or a couple of cloves per quarter of cabbage, but you need to start tasting once it gets warm. You'll almost certainly find there's plenty of liquid in the bottom of the pan, but, if not, add a little water, perhaps some vinegar. Reheat gently, either over a low heat or in the oven with your main course. Either way, it needs about half an hour.


This is a really useful dish to have in the freezer
for the winter holidays - it goes so well with wintery dishes such as roast meat, stews, bean casseroles. We eat red cabbage in quite small quantities, so never manage to eat a whole one in one week, even if it is the smallest one in the shop. The "other half" used to moulder away in the bottom of my fridge, reproaching me, until I realised how well red cabbage freezes. I always do this now.







I'm sending this to Michelle at The Accidental Scientist for this month's Heart of the Matter - holiday food. It's not the most exciting holiday dish, but it is a treat of sorts - a treat for the cook, who knows it's one more chore done, if that doesn't sound too organised.

Heart of the Matter, for those of you that haven't found it yet, is a website for heart-healthy recipes, built up month by month ... the kind of resource I wish had been around after my husband had a heart attack. Anyone can contribute - this month the theme is holiday food.

12 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Seems like the color alone qualifies it for holiday! The fact that it's ready at the drop of the holiday hat is a real bonus.

Eleanor said...

I have a whole red cabbage in the fridge, reproaching me for not having used it, so thank you for your perfectly-timed post! I'm going to try this out tonight with leeks, crusty bread and a few slices of chorizo - I wouldn't be surprised if there were precious little left over to freeze.

Dianne said...

Brilliant idea, for making life that bit easier, over the coming months!

:)

Joanna said...

Yes, Tanna, I love the colour of red cabbage ... purple, really

And Eleanor honesty compels me to admit openly that the cabbage I used had been reproaching me in the fridge for quite a long time ... there was a hint in the post, but I didn't come right out with it! And delicious with chorizo

Eleanor said...

Well, we did indeed eat this for dinner and it was delicious. Photo here. Admittedly the chorizo isn't the most heart-healthy accompaniment, but since the vegetable was the star we didn't eat nearly as much sausage as we might have. It's vegetable delivery day today and I am longing for another red cabbage to arrive.

I stirred what little was left over into a pretty pasta salad for today's lunch (which is a bit of a food-blogger theme lunch as it also has a piece of the fabulous Kruidkoek from HotM 8!). Thank you Joanna.

Joanna said...

Eleanor it all looks delicious - and your Flickr account looks as if it is turning into a food blog ;)

Joanna

Jeanne said...

Love the fractal art look of the cabbage! I love braised cabbage - definitely has a wintry holiday feel to it.

Joanna said...

Yes, me too, Jeanne ... and just now I'm wondering whether caraway, which is so good with white and green cabbage, would be a good flavouring for red cabbage ....

katiez said...

I love red cabbage! I had no idea you could freeze it - well, freeze it successfully! Buying a cabbage is always a bit of a committment when there are only two - this is perfect!

Joanna said...

Yes, we have the same problem Katie - only two people in the house who like red cabbage ... but this solves it neatly AND makes life easier at the same time :)

Ed Bruske said...

love braised red cabbage--red wine vinegar, red onion, maybe apples

Ann said...

Absolutely beautiful photo! I love red cabbage and I'm glad you've reminded me to make it more often.