I wasn’t great on veg when I was younger but I think that was because the trend at the time was for a lot of ‘boiling the life’ out of a pot of vegetables and serving them fairly mushy. Thankfully that’s not the case anymore and now I do love most veg. This time of year all the great cabbages abound and Savoy and Red are two of my favourite. I also really love sweet potato and I often cook all three of these recipes but even one of them is lovely with your favourite meat or fish. My husband and daughter love these with a roast confit duck leg and their favourite gravy.
Braised red cabbage
This is a great recipe as you can just put everything into a lidded casserole and throw it into the oven. It takes a while to cook but is worth it – A stir every new and then to make sure it isn’t sticking is all that is required. It has quite a bit of butter in it which gives it a lovely glossy sheen.
1 red cabbage – core it and shred it finely
3 or 4 apples – peeled cored and chopped finely
1 tsp ground cuimin
1 star anise
100g butter – chopped into about 5 or 6 pieces.
A few tablespoons of red, white or sherry vinegar
A squeeze of juice- I use about ½ clementine at this time of year.
Preheat oven to 170 C
Combine all the ingredients and pack into a buttered heavy casserole dish. Put on the lid and pop into the oven. Bake for about 2 hours – check occasionally to stir and prevent anything sticking. When it is ready I usually remove the star anise and cloves so no one gets a surprise when eating it.
Sweet Potato Puree
This recipe can be made hot with a chilli if you like it. Cook the sweet potato with half a chill and include it in the blender. I usually omit if I’m doing it for my daughter.
Enough for 2
1 large sweet potato
Small bunch of coriander
Olive Oil and tamari or light soy sauce to taste (about 1 tbsp each)
Peel the sweet potato and cut into rough pieces. Cover in a pot with enough cold water to cover, add pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the potato is cooked. Drain and throw into the blender with butter and coriander- Remember to include the coriander stems also. Blend until smooth. If you have included the chilli you blend this also. Taste the puree and add olive oil and tamari together with some additional salt to season. Adjust to suit your taste and serve.
Stir Fried Savoy Cabbage
½ Savoy cabbage – enough for 2 or 3 servings.
2 clove garlic peeled, chopped and mashed
2 Tbsp Oil for stir frying or Duck Fat (If Im serving this with duck I usually stir fry it in some duck fat).
Remove the tough outer leaves and centre stalk from the cabbage
Pile the leaves one on top of each other, roll up like a cigar and finely slice
Blanch the cabbage in a pot of boiling salted water for about 4 minutes
Refresh in cold iced water and drain. This par cooks your cabbage so your don’t have to stir fry it long when preparing and you can have your cabbage prepared up to this point if you want to get it ready earlier.
Heat your oil or duck fat and when hot add the mashed garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add the drained cabbage, season with salt and stir fry until cooked through.
This will take a just a few minutes – Serve and enjoy.