Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Red Cabbage with Cranberries and Rioja

Time to get cracking:  a week long creative project, interspersed with lots of parties, a significant amount of chocolate and far too much Champagne. I am trying to lay down a few more things in the freezer, just to get ahead of the game for the weekend and to ensure that I don't spend the whole of saturday in the kitchen when I could be playing with the toys and relaxing with guests.

There are traditional dishes that a Christmas table needs to keep the ancestors happy. Roast potatoes, root vegetables and red cabbage are just a few of them. Even if there is only one person remaining in the house who likes red cabbage, you can't miss it out. This version has the sharpness of cranberries and Granny Smiths melded with the warmth of Rioja and a little zing of chilli to finish. A perfect foil to the richness of a Christmas roast.

Red Cabbage with Cranberries and Rioja
1tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced thinly into half moons
1 small head of red cabbage, finely shredded
2 sharp eating apples (I used Granny Smiths), grated
100g fresh cranberries 
3tbsp soft brown sugar
350ml rioja or other fruity red wine
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the onion and fry slowly until softened but not coloured.
Add the cabbage, apples and cranberries to the pan and mix together well.
Sprinkle the sugar over the mixture and add the wine and hot pepper flakes (if using).
Cook at a very low heat for around 1 1/2 - 2hours until soft and melting together.
Season to taste with a generous sprinkle of salt and allow to cool.
The dish is now ready to freeze or leave in the fridge for up to 2 days until needed. The flavours improve with age.

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