Top photo credit: Jonathan Wallace
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 Issue: Hosting the Holidays. Read it here!
“The cabbage bursts with spicy-sweet flavours and has real crunch. Matches perfectly with white meats and fish.”
- 2 star anise
- 1 red cabbage
- 400ml red wine
- 275ml malt vinegar
- 140ml balsamic vinegar
- 140ml white wine vinegar
- 5 bay leaves
- 10 cloves whole
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp pink peppercorns
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 5 whole dried chillies
- 375g caster sugar `
- Coarse sea salt for salting cabbage
Photo credit: Paul
- Half and quarter the cabbage. De-vein the stem and finely slice the cabbage leaves. Place in a colander set over a bowl (to catch drips) and generously sprinkle with sea salt, tossing the cabbage to ensure good coverage. Leave for at least 2 hours or even 24 hours. Rinse the salt from the cabbage leaves.
- Place all the vinegars, wine and sugar together in a pan and reduce by half, skimming as you go. Add the remaining dry ingredients when the reduction is near completion and allow to infuse for 15 mins. (If not using the pickling liquid straight away, the flavours will continue to develop if you leave all the dry ingredients in the liquid.)
- Sieve the mixture. Put the cabbage into a zip-lock bag or tupperware and pour on the pickling liquid until cabbage is completely covered.
Tom’s tips* The cabbage improves with time, so it’s best to make at least a few days ahead of time, but it will still be amazing if eaten the same day.
- Drain the cabbage before use, but you can re-use the pickling liquid.
- Great with cold meats, smoked fish, with rich cheeses on a cheeseboard or even on a beef burger - anywhere you want a tangy, spicy-sweet crunch.
- By experimenting with different types of vinegar you can achieve very different colours.