Gingergirl: ‘Come in from the cold with this winter favourite’

Helen Keown


Helen Keown

Gingergirl says that a lot of people prefer red cabbage over white because of its sweeter flavour
Hello and welcome to all about food. This week is all about a true winter favourite. Enjoy!

Hello and welcome to all about food. This week is all about a true winter favourite. Enjoy!

Ask gingergirl

Hello gingergirl,

I recently tried cooking red cabbage but I found it very tasteless compared to the flavoursome cabbage I enjoy when I eat it out. Do you have any recipe suggestions?

Many thanks,

Paul, Newport

Hello Paul,

Red cabbage has a sweeter flavour than white cabbage and is a winter favourite in the gingergirl kitchen as it offers endless variety. I like to braise it with a mix of spices and fruit and serve it with goose, pork, duck, venison or serve it warm with pate. It is also delicious finely shredded in salad with sweet and sour vinaigrette.

At this time of year I am drawn to warm, comforting food that doesn’t require too much fuss but is full of flavour. I

love to cook sausages with braised red cabbage and often cook this when I have friends for dinner as it an all round winner every time. Choose the best sausages you can find (if you are lucky enough to find venison sausages I highly recommend using them for this recipe), most butchers make their own sausages these days so have a chat and see what they suggest. Serve the sausages and cabbage with creamy mashed potatoes.

Spiced red cabbage

Serves 6 with leftovers

1 ½ kg of red cabbage

2 onions, diced

3 apples (granny smith are good), peeled, cored and diced

The zest of 1 orange

2 teaspoons of mixed spice

100g of soft brown sugar

3 tablespoons of cider vinegar

300ml of cider

A knob of butter

Peel and quarter the cabbage. Remove the tough stem and slice thinly (you can use a food processor for this). Layer a quarter of the cabbage with some of the onions, apples, zest, spice, sugar and seasoning. Continue to layer until all the ingredients have been used up. Add the vinegar and cider and place the butter on top. Cover the saucepan with a lid, bring to the boil then simmer over a low heat for 1 ½ hours or until the cabbage is tender.

This cabbage will keep in the freezer for up to one month so it may be worthwhile making batches of this in advance; especially with Christmas just around the corner.

Recipe variation

As I have said, red cabbage is very versitile so feel free to play about with the ingredients. Other spices that work well include fresh ginger, chinese five-spice and cinnamon. You can also replace half the apple with fresh cranberries or sultanas or use port in place of cider.

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

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