The red cabbage is also known as purple cabbage, red kraut, or blue kraut after preparation. Its leaves are coloured dark red/purple. However, the plant changes its colour according to the pH value of the soil.
It can be found in all of Europe, throughout the Americas, in China and especially in Africa. On cooking, red cabbage will normally turn blue. To retain the red colour it is necessary to add vinegar or acidic fruit to the pot.
Red cabbage is often used raw for salads and coleslaw. It is the traditional accompanying side dish paired with many German meals, notably Sauerbraten. As Christmas approaches it is often cooked with spice and served as an accompaniment to seasonal roast turkey, goose or cold meats. Often apples are added to give it sweet-sour taste, so why not try this festive recipe and add some colour and spice to your meals.
1 red cabbage, finely shredded
2 bay leaves
5 star anise
½ tsp ground cinnamon
200ml vegetable stock or water
50g golden caster sugar
75ml cider vinegar
2 apples, cored and cut into wedges
Place all the ingredients except for the apples in a large saucepan and season. Place over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 mins. Add the apples, then continue cooking for 15 mins until tender. Once cold this is also great for freezing, so why not make double the quantity and save some time.