Red cabbage à la flamande

In the winter months I love to make this braised red cabbage dish. The result is glossy, softened red cabbage which retains some texture and a subtle tartness thanks to the apples. It is a great side to include in roast dinners or with sausages and mash.

While I like cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves as spices within themselves, I’m not particularly keen on adding them to this particular dish as is the case in some recipes. This recipe from Larousse Gastronomique is the version that I most prefer.


Serves 4

  • 1 large red cabbage
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Tart apples (e.g. Bramley, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Cox)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Remove any withered leaves, slice off the stump (core) at the base of the leaves and cut the cabbage into four, then into thin strips. Wash and dry.
  2. Melt 40g butter in a saucepan, add the cabbage, sprinkle with salt and pepper, moisten with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, then cover the pan and cook over a gentle heat.
  3. Meanwhile, peel 3 or 4 tart apples (1 large apple if using cooking apples such as Bramley) cut them into quarters, remove the core and slice them finely.
  4. Add the apples to the cabbage after 1 hour of cooking, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, replace the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes before serving.

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