Autumn is here and my thoughts immediately turn to slow cooking; both the wonderful array of vegetables that the ground gives up as well as meat from Scotland’s natural larder. One of my favourite side dishes is taking the humble red cabbage and over the course of an hour or so turning it into something that’s all at once sweet and sour with a gentle crunch and a perfect foil for my favourite autumn ingredient; Scottish game. Whether venison, pigeon or it’s perfect partner, roast mallard, this side dish will not only accentuate the richness, but also negate the need for a carbohydrate kick alongside. This dish also works well cold with leftover meats and cheese.
Braised pickled red cabbage with sweet spice
Serves 4 as a side dish
1 medium red cabbage shredded
1 apple chopped (russets are best)
15ml cider vinegar
4 juniper berries crushed
1″ cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Salt to season
1. Place all the ingredients in a heavy based pan alongside a splash of water and put on a medium heat
2. Stir and then after a minute or so when it starts a little bubble cover and turn the heat down to a minimum
3. Keep an eye on the pan and be careful not to let it burn, if drying out add a little water
4. After 30 minutes or so remove the cinnamon so it doesn’t become overpowering
5. Leave on the heat until it becomes as tender as desired, some prefer a crunch so maybe only an hour, if you like it completely withered possibly two.
6. Correct for seasoning and serve alongside your favourite game. Roast mallard is my perfect accompaniment.