We had a chunk of red cabbage sitting in the fridge. I’d been planning to use it in some sort of coleslaw, but decided after a couple of days to make a proper meal out of it, rather than have it as a side. A quick sweep of the fridge and cupboards didn’t turn up too much, but a plan started forming: could I make a variation on a braised cabbage dish? But without making us think of Christmas?
I didn’t want the cabbage to cook down into a sticky mush, I wanted to keep some texture. This was achieved by shredding, then stir frying, along with red onions, carrot, celery, a sharp cox apple, and some little bits of chorizo (the only thing I had to buy to add to this dish), in a mixture of balsamic and red wine vinegar. Smoky paprika, fennel seeds, a bit of chilli jam and plenty of black pepper gave flavour, along with some thyme (which worked, though I might try it with some coriander or basil next time) and finally I stirred through some raw grated beetroot, to give some earthy sweetness, and chunks of feta, for that delicious, salty creaminess.
The dish was great – a bit of a taste sensation, brimming over with rich, spicy flavours. We ate it for dinner whilst it was still warm, but the leftovers were even better cold the next day. Great with a crisp green salad.
400g (about a third of a whole) red cabbage, shredded
200g red onion, finely sliced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 small sharp apple (I used a cox), diced
200g (about 1 medium) raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
1 tbsp. oil
50ml balsamic vinegar
50ml red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp. chilli jam
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
50g chorizo (use more if you like) cut into small pieces
150g feta, cut into cubes
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Over a high heat, fry the onion, stirring often, until it starts to soften and take on some colour. Add the cabbage, and continue to cook on high for a couple of minutes.
Add the carrot, celery, and apple. Reduce the heat slightly, and cook for five minutes, then add the vinegars and chilli jam. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring often, before mixing in the chorizo, paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, thyme, and plenty of black pepper. Continue to cook until the chorizo has turned a little crispy and the cabbage is cooked to the consistency of your liking (for me, from frying the onions until this point took twenty minutes.)
Remove the pan from the heat, and stir through the grated beetroot. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before mixing in the feta. Sprinkle a few extra fennel seeds over the top if you like (I’m a bit addicted to doing this on all sorts of dishes.) Let it cool a little before serving.