Red cabbage, to me, always feels gloriously Christmassy and festive; this is probably due to its colour as much as its flavour. Cabbage is a much underrated vegetable - I am as guilty as the next person of despising it, not least because the building I work in has, shall we say, ventilation problems, so sometimes my office smells of boiled cabbage despite being five floors above the canteen. This said, cabbage can be really good if it is cooked well and red cabbage in apple and bacon is always welcome. I particularly like Jamie's version thanks to the balsamic vinegar he puts in (I have a bit of a thing about balsamic vinegar) - I have made this dish before, a couple of months ago, but didn't include it in the blog because we had friends around and I didn't want to start taking photos of the food. (Since then, I have given up worrying and just go ahead and take pictures regardless - people don't seem to mind)
It is simple: for a whole red cabbage, heat olive oil in a saucepan, add finely sliced smoked streaky bacon and a tablespoon of bashed fennel seeds and cook until golden, before adding a peeled and sliced onion and cooking with the lid on for a couple more minutes until golden and sticky. Add 2 peeled and chopped apples (use eating apples, not cooking ones), then the red cabbage, cut into chunks, seasoning and 150ml balsamic vinegar and stir together. Cook with a lid on on a low heat for an hour, pop a knob of butter on top and sprinkle over chopped flat leaf parsley.
The photo colour makes this look horribly lurid - I promise that this was the light. This is a very nice dish indeed and it went extremely well as Jamie promised with roast pork. I also served it with onion gratin, which I will blog next. This is definitely a dish to repeat in the festive season - and in fact I think it will become my new favourite way of serving red cabbage.
In order to show that I haven't cooked nothing but vegetables recently, I also made Nigella's gingerbread muffins which are delicious indeed - they taste and smell really Christmassy and are a perfect (and simple) December treat.