Olive Magazine
Braised red cabbage and apples in a rectangular dish

Braised red cabbage with apples

Published: November 16, 2021 at 1:08 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 8

John Torode’s braised red cabbage side dish is spruced up with apples, smoked bacon, cinnamon and orange zest, and given a boozy red wine hit for a festive feast


Try this recipe for braised red cabbage, then check out our classic red cabbage and discover more of our best ever veggie sides for Christmas.


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 rashers smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 red cabbage, core removed and shredded
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 30g brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • a couple of big strips orange zest
  • 4 tbsp red wine
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat the butter in a heavy ovenproof pan, add the bacon and fry until just coloured. Scoop out, then layer up the red cabbage, apples, brown sugar and bacon, seasoning well as you go. Tuck in the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Put the pan over high heat and add the red wine and vinegar, bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes. Seal the pan with a lid, then transfer to the oven for an hour. Check a couple of times to make sure the liquid hasn’t dried out and add a splash of water if needed.

Try these three twists on classic red cabbage:

Red cabbage with redcurrant jelly

This classic red cabbage recipe makes a fantastic addition to a special festive dinner. Adding redcurrant jelly and balsamic vinegar gives the cabbage a sweet and sour edge. If you want to get ahead, this can be made up to two days before and reheated on Christmas Day to save time.

Tangy red Cabbage with redcurrant jelly

Pickled red cabbage

Need an easy vegan side for your Christmas dinner? This fresh, no-fuss red cabbage side dish benefits from not needing any braising. The use of bird's eye chillies and ginger brings an Asian flavour. What's more, it has only 50 calories per serving making it a healthy Christmas side dish.

Asian Pickled red cabbage recipe

Slow cooker red cabbage

This slow cooked red cabbage and apple dish spiced with cinnamon is so delicious it will outshine even the tastiest of roasts. Just 20 minutes of preparation is required from you to make this gloriously sticky side.

Slow Cooked Red Cabbage Recipe


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