Braised Cabbage in Balsamic

March 28, 2011

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Friends, there’s a breeze up my skirt and it ain’t from the autumn wind. Ok sit down and look into my eyes. You trust me, don’t you? Because I’m going to tell you one thing that’s going to change your life. Ya ready? Braised balsamic cabbage. You really need to make this now. 

Who could’ve guessed that a humble cabbage could give this carnivore a nice lofty breeze in her tail (hold the cabbage wind jokes peeps). But seriously, this is the best cabbage dish you’ll ever taste and for a vegetable that is pretty bloody boring, it’s a big bold claim. But then again, the cabbage is cooked in butter, sugar and balsamic vinegar. And at the end, it does sit all pretty and tender in a spiced, syrupy, sweet-but-with-a-bite glaze. Not hard to love it at all, no siree.

You can serve it as a side dish to any rich red meat but I reckon any game especially duck, would be the most divine. Ah heck, just a bowl of it by itself is pretty amazeballs. I never thought I could be in love with a vego dish and now I can’t imagine preparing cabbage any other way. Far be it for me to mess with magic right?

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Braised Cabbage in Balsamic


1 red cabbage (about 700g), outer leaves removed, quartered, cored and sliced thinly
2 tart Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thickly
150g butter
150g light brown sugar
150ml balsamic vinegar (substitute with cider vinegar if you wish)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp ground cloves


Preheat oven to 180°C. In a casserole dish over medium heat, stir together the butter, sugar and vinegar until butter has melted and sugar has dissolved. Add the cinnamon and cloves and remove from heat.

Add cabbage and apple and toss to coat. Cover the surface with a sheet of wet, crumpled baking paper (a.k.a a cartouche) and bake in the oven for 1-1.5 hours or until the cabbage is tender but with a slight bite and the liquid has reduced to a slightly syrup consistency. Give it a stir every 30 minutes or so but be sure to re-wet the baking paper each time you do to prevent it from burning.

Serve warm on the side to any meat dish or by itself.

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Recipe adapted from Cooking For Friends by Gordon Ramsay.