Christmas braised red cabbage by Paul Cunningham


These shiny red shards of cabbage look as though they should be tinsel dangling upon the Christmas tree. The vinegary sourness cuts fatty meat perfectly, the little raisins burst with intense juice, and aromas of orange zest, cloves and cinnamon fill the kitchen. This dish eats really well cold, too – over cold slices of leftover roast pork, with roast beef or tucked into a turkey and stuffing sandwich.

Serves 8
garlic 1 head, halved
duck fat 30g
olive oil 30ml
red cabbage 1 large, shredded
red onions 4 large, peeled and thinly sliced
red chilli 1, split lengthways and thinly sliced
raisins a good handful
cinnamon 1 stick
cloves 2
fennel seeds 1 tbsp, toasted
juniper berries 12, lightly crushed
oranges 2, 1 juiced and zest in strips, 1 peeled and split into segments
red wine vinegar 30ml
soft light brown sugar 200g

Preheat the oven to 160C fan/gas mark 4. Wrap the garlic in tin foil and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until soft. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large frying pan, heat the duck fat and olive oil over a medium heat, then sauté the cabbage, onions, chilli and raisins for 15-20 minutes, until the cabbage is beginning to wilt. Add the cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, juniper and orange zest, and sauté for a further 10 minutes. Add the orange juice, vinegar and brown sugar. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the flavours come together, about 10 minutes.

Squeeze the garlic from its skin and fold into the cabbage with the orange segments. Season and serve.