Well, two sleeps left to go until what might just be the most important meal of the year, and like all good foodies I’m getting quite excited. We’re planning to be quite organised and do the majority of the prep work beforehand so on the big day itself we don’t have to worry about anything more then bunging stuff in the oven. But what do they say about the best laid plans?
Tonight, the main job will be to put together the best braised red cabbage in the world, ever and I’ve reproduced the recipe below (I believe it was originally by Marcus Wareing, but I’m not sure where exactly it came from). This is not a low point option – I have calculated the pro points, but more for the sake of interest than anything else; if I were in counting mode I’d probably use little if any butter and sweeten the vegetable with grated apple and onion, and it would be lovely. But just occasionally, this is worth the hit.
1 small red cabbage, cored and sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
150g unsalted butter
200ml red wine vinegar
50g clear honey
100g demerara sugar
1 bay leaf
Sprig of thyme
Large pinch of salt
Serves 4-6, 8 pro points per person (if 6)
Set the oven to 150.
Mix together all of the ingredients and place in a roasting tray. Cover with foil and cook for about 1 ½ hours, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
(Note: if, after the 90 minutes have elapsed you still have a lot of liquid, it might be worth sticking the tray over a high hob to reduce – we did this last time we cooked it in order not to muck up the timings of other dishes, and it tasted just as nice).
This recipe also works really well if you just bung everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for around 8 hours (or overnight). The colour of the cabbage will be slightly less vivid but the flavour and texture will be utterly perfect. If you use this cooking method, I would suggest reducing the amount of vinegar by half.