Sunday, 31 October 2010

Pickled Red Cabbage

At this time of year, many gardeners in the UK will have Red Cabbages ready for harvesting. This type of cabbage, whilst being nice enough, is less "flexible" in the kitchen than the green or white types. One way of eating it that is popular in the UK is braised (slow cooked in the oven, often with some apples or raisins added to sweeten it). This is traditionally served as an accompaniment to the well-known dish Lancashire Hotpot (slow-cooked lamb with onions, potatoes etc). However, Jane has given me a really easy recipe for pickled Red Cabbage, which will enable you to keep on enjoying this vegetable for many weeks after harvesting it.

Pickled Red Cabbage


Easy Pickled Red Cabbage

Pickled red cabbage is very easy to make, especially if you keep some ready-spiced pickling vinegar, such as Sarsons, in stock. A whole red cabbage will make 4 - 6 jars of pickle, but this recipe is so easy that if you have spiced vinegar to-hand it is worth using even a small (perhaps left-over) piece of cabbage to make a single jar.



If you don't have any pickling vinegar  in stock, you need to prepare some. This is how you do it:-  put a bottle of malt vinegar in a pan with either a sachet of pickling spice or a muslin bag (or J-cloth tied with string) containing your preferred combination of dried chillies, peppercorns, bay leaves, cloves, coriander seeds, sliced dry ginger, a cinnamon stick and mustard seeds. Heat until just boiling, remove from the heat and leave until completely cold and remove the bag of spices.  The vinegar is then best left to infuse overnight, while the cabbage is salting.

Prepare the cabbage by shredding it as finely as you can - a food processor or mandoline is ideal - (but if you use a mandoline PLEASE use a finger guard!). Put it into a large non-metallic bowl, layering it with lots of salt - at least 100g for a whole cabbage - and mix together so that all  the shreds are coated in salt. Cover tightly with clingfilm and leave it to stand overnight.

Next day, rinse off all the salt - filling the bowl with water and draining a few times will dissolve it - then drain in a non-metallic sieve, pressing well to remove all the water. The cabbage will at this stage be a very unappetising colour of blue.

Pack the cabbage as tightly as you can into cold, sterilised jars, then pour in the vinegar to completely cover  the cabbage, turning the jars and prodding (a wooden satay stick is ideal) to remove air bubbles so that the vinegar reaches every bit of cabbage. The colour will immediately begin to turn back to red.

Check that the insides of the jar lids have a plastic coating rather than metal (which can corrode if it comes into contact with vinegar) - if they don't, put a layer of clingfilm over the top before putting the lid on. Seal tightly.

Most pickles need time to mature but you can start eating red cabbage after only a week and it is best within a couple of months of being made. It will keep much longer than that if it has to, but starts to go soggy and will not be at its best.

Serve with cold meats and cheese... or with pork pies... or with pasties... or meat-and-potato pies... or...

Here are some more photos...






Even if Red Cabbage was not nice to eat, you'd grow it for its ornamental value wouldn't you? Do you think each one is unique, like the finger-print???

14 comments:

  1. Great pictures of your cabbage, they look amazing! The last pictures are like a brain.
    Here in japan, they put them on top of some food as ornament, but also to bring a little bit of a different flavor to the dish

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  2. Keep posting, just found this as an ex brit in Canada missing my pickled cabbage I am on to this now.
    Love the photos of the veggie plot.

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  3. Going to try this recipe will let you know the out come Ty :)

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  4. yea! Thanx mark for this lovely recipe have just cut 9 red cabbage ready for picking and recycled my driesd fennel seeds. Try a little red wine in the vinegar with fennel seed is well yummmmy!! Will end you pics when done. Have just made 65 jars of sweet mince meat for mince pies later in the year and turning my last two huge marrows into Marrow Rum "Marrow Hooch" Yea!!! have you any ideas what to do with an abundance of jeruisalem Artichoke LOL my email rainbowlizzie211@gmail.com happy allotmenterring growing and cooking yea! We have three allotments organic and eco friendly, wildlife conservation. Jusst goona go shred some red cabbage with a glas of homemade ginger beer yummmy!! :) :) :) Rainbow Lizzie

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    1. Sorry Lizzie, I don't have any recipes for Jerusalem Artichoke. You could perhaps try doing them in a creamy garlicy sauce like Gratin Dauphinoise. Sounds like you are having a massive preserving session...

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  5. P.S...5 Jars of Sweet Mince Meat LOL not 65 typo!!!

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    1. Yes, I think 65 would perhaps be a tad too much!

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  6. Yea! Thanx Mark will try the Jerusalem Artichokes au Gratin sound yummy indeed. Yes, with the wet spring and summer, we had a huge glut of Runner beans, Broad beans, Chillies,Beetroot and Squash n Marrow. Our biggest squash was 9lb in weight which was the best in a couple of years. So we been making an abindance of Chutney's, Rutic Pickles and Sweet chilli Jam for Christmas, for our dear close friends and family. Like in the old days they used to presevre their fruit and veggies for over winter. I have set up our blogger site "IN A PICKLE & CO" will share ome recipes and growning tips etc...Have you Rosehips? If so I have a good recipe for a Vitamin Booster, and "SAGE HONEY" for sore throats etc...yep we are foraging our allotment site and herb garden for natural remedies the way forward yea! I see you on fb, have requested your friendship, have alook at our allotments pics right through the year, Enjoy! We are baking our own bread and all sorts will put up some info and recipes n pics laters. Blessings you and yours, Lizzie n Josh :-))

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  7. can you add sugar to make the red cabbage sweet? or would this ruin it?
    Thanks :))

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  8. Yes, possibly - but I think you would need to dissolve the sugar in the venegar beforehand (perhaps warm it to assist this process?).

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  9. I am new to canning/pickling. Do these need to be stored in the fridge or any particular place? I am living in Romania, and our fridge has limited space, but our balcony is very cool in fall and winter and early spring.

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    1. We keep ours in an ordinary kitchen cupboard. A dark, cool place would be best, but not too cold - it's definitely not necessary to keep it in the fridge. Cabbage pickled this way will keep for several months, but loses its vitality after about six months.

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    2. I've just pickled two big jars of red cabbage. Personally I like my pickles with a bit of a chilli bite. From what I've learnt from past pickling experience though, to keep stuff crispy you need tannins from leaves. Grape, raspberry, oak are all good. Bay leaves & cloves may be a good second best.

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  10. I've made the red cabbage recipe, absolutely lovely, definitely will be making more

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