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Thursday 24 July 2014

Sluttishly Savoury: Pickled Red Cabbage

I have come to the conclusion that pickling vegetables improves your life hugely. Particularly pickled red cabbage. This is no weird exaggeration. Let me explain. It's the humblest of vegetables - often sidelined to winter braising. That is until we introduce it to vinegar. It then transforms into something freaking insane: it turns BRIGHT purple, it looks like fireworks on a plate, but most importantly, this slutty 'lil accruement can be sleeping in its kilner jar for months and months ready to partner up with a whole range of tasty items. 

To name a few: pulled pork, kebabs, sausages, burgers, anything barbecued. It's goes great with smoked mackerel pate, oily fish and cured meats. You can throw it in coleslaw, have it in sandwiches, it's endless.

Also, it has magical healing properties. It prevents flu, it's a gastro-regulator which means whether you're blocked or loose (sorry) it'll sort you right out. It's good if you're anaemic, if you have respiratory problems but perhaps most importantly - it works miracles on a raging hangover.  

Convinced this stuff should be free on the NHS. Now go forth and pickle.   

Pickled Red Cabbage (makes a large kilner jar's worth)
Preparation Time: 30mins
Inactive Time: 3 hours
Cooking Time: 15mins
  • 1 average sized red cabbage, quartered, woody stem removed and finely shredded
  • 2 handfuls of table salt
  • 1 litre white wine vinegar (cheap stuff)
  • 300ml red wine (cheap stuff)
  • 250g caster sugar 
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
Make it!
  1. Place the shredded cabbage in a large colander with a bowl underneath. Scatter the salt over and give it a mix with your hands to make sure all the cabbage is coated. Leave for a few hours. This draws the moisture out (which collects in the bowl beneath) and removes the bitterness. 
  2. After 3 hours, wash the salt off and place in a massive bowl or your largest pan. 
  3. Heat the vinegar and red wine in a large pan with the sugar, peppercorns and bay leaves. Once it's boiling, remove from the heat and strain off the spices. 
  4. Pour the clear hot liquid all over the red cabbage to fully submerge it. Leave to cool completely.
  5. When cool, transfer the cabbage and liquid to a sterilised jar and keep refrigerated. Ready to use the next day, and lasts for months and months. 

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