Braised cabbage recipe in a bowl

Christmas dinner isn’t complete without brilliantly bright and comforting braised red cabbage. This ever-favourite festive veggie side can be prepared in advance, too, saving you precious time on the big day.

Braising is a technique that requires sautéeing in fat over a high heat, then simmering slowly in liquid over a low heat in a covered pot. By braising red cabbage, you’re packing it full of lovely rich flavours and taking this humble veg to the next level.

It’s super-simple to make beautiful braised red cabbage that’s sure to go down a storm at Christmas. This Jamie magazine recipe makes enough for four people as a side dish. Find the full ingredient list here, and follow our step-by-step instructions to learn how to make braised cabbage that’s sure to go down a treat. 

You’ll need a large flat-bottomed pan with a lid or a pressure cooker for this recipe.

  1. Put a good lug of olive oil into a saucepan, get it hot and add two rashers of chopped bacon and a teaspoon of fennel seeds. Cook until golden.
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  2. Add a sliced onion, give it a good stir and pop the lid on the saucepan. Continue to cook until it’s all golden and sticky.
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  3. Throw in two apples chopped into chunks and one roughly chopped red cabbage.
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  4. Season with salt and pepper and add 150ml of balsamic vinegar. Mix it all together with a wooden spoon, put the lid back on and leave it to cook on a low heat for an hour, stirring occasionally.
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  5. Once cooked, stir in a small knob of butter.
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  6. You’ll end up with a gorgeously sticky, sweet cabbage dish. You can store it in the fridge for a few days before Christmas, or even in the freezer if you really want to get ahead!

There are loads of variations on this simple recipe. Check out our recipe for braised white cabbage with bacon and thyme, or for an alternative veggie side dish, try these braised greens.