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Braising is a technique in which food is first browned in oil or butter and then simmered, covered, over a gentle heat in a little liquid. Removing the lid occasionally, allows the liquid to reduce to almost nothing, browning the food. Small amounts of liquid are then added in which the food then continues to simmer. Repeating this process often is a sure way to get the most flavour and colour and produces the most flavoursome sauce, broth, gravy or jus. Braising is particularly beneficial for tough cuts of meat like the classic Italian tomato-veal-shin stew, Osso Bucco. One-pot cooking at its best! Here we share our cabbage braise, perfect to serve in winter with venison, pork or ham roasts.

Braised Red Cabbage


  • 90 ml butter
  • 1 large red onion, sliced thinly
  • 45 ml brown sugar
  • 90 ml red wine vinegar
  • 600 g (1 medium) red cabbage, core removed and sliced very thinly
  • 5 ml salt
  • 5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 2.5 ml ground cinnamon
  • generous pinch of ground cloves
  • freshly-milled black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 small red apples, each cored and sliced into thin wedges
  • 125 ml dry red wine
  • extra seasoning if required: salt, pepper and vinegar


Heat half the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion. Sauté until soft then add sugar and sauté until it becomes sticky – about 10 minutes – stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and allow to cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the rest of the butter and when melted, add the cabbage and salt and sauté until the cabbage is soft and golden (well, as golden as red cabbage can get :)), about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the extra seasoning and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 – 60 minutes or until the cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally and there are no cooking liquids left but the cabbage is still moist. At this stage you may want to adjust the seasoning by adding a little more vinegar, salt and sugar. Remove from heat and serve with any winter roast, but especially with venison or ham.

Serves 6.