Some vegetable side dishes are perfect to prepare ahead for a no-fuss Christmas Day menu.
Although we probably cook vegetable side dishes most days, they do seem to be much more hassle on Christmas day. I guess it's because there's so much other stuff going on and we do also seem compelled to do such an enormous selection. So, if we can choose a couple of dishes that lend themselves to being prepared ahead of time, that can only be a good thing.
An injection of colour on the Christmas dinner table is always a bonus too, so bring on Braised Red Cabbage with Apples - it's a beauty to prepare in advance and with that striking purple colour it really is a double winner. And its slightly sweet and sour flavours, well they work like a dream at cutting through the richness of the rest of the meal. Sometimes I might make this a couple of days before Christmas and keep it in the fridge until the big day but I often freeze it too. It will reheat in the oven, covered, on a low heat, but as every corner of your oven is probably spoken for, the microwave alternative also gets a big thumbs up from me. Gently stir the cranberry sauce through the cabbage just before serving - it gives a beautiful sheen and a subtle sweet flavour. Adjust the quantity that you use to your taste - it's personal.
This red cabbage is also a delicious side dish during the rest of the year - perhaps with sausages, a little fresh green broccoli and a crunchy jacket potato with a fluffy, buttery inner. Perfect.Print
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
This is a beauty to prepare in advance and with that striking purple colour it really is a double winner. A true no-fuss side dish!
Tweaked from a recipe by Delia Smith.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Sides
- Method: Oven baked
- Cuisine: Christmas
- 1.4kg (3lb) red cabbage
- 700g (1lb 8oz) onions, chopped small
- 700g (1lb 8oz) cooking apples (or Granny Smiths), peeled, cored and chopped small
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ nutmeg, freshly grated
- ½ level teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ level teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4½ tablespoons wine vinegar
- 20g (1oz) butter
- salt and pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons cranberry sauce (shop bought works best), or adjust the quantity to taste
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC/130ºC Fan/300ºF (gas mark 2).
- Discard the tough outer layers of the cabbage, cut it into quarters and remove the hard stalk, then shred the cabbage finely.
- Mix the spices and sugar together in a small bowl.
- In a large casserole, arrange a layer of cabbage seasoned with salt and pepper, then a layer of chopped onions and apples, followed by a sprinkling of garlic and some of the spicy sugar mixture.
- Repeat until everything is in the casserole, finishing with a layer of cabbage.
- Dot the top of the cabbage with the butter and pour over the wine vinegar.
- Put a lid on the casserole and bake in the oven for 1½ to 2 hours, stirring everything around once or twice during cooking.
- When cold, the red cabbage can be chilled for 2 to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. Reheat gently and then stir through the cranberry sauce before serving.
- To serve immediately, stir the cranberry sauce through the hot red cabbage and serve.
Keywords: festive, vegetarian, freeze ahead
It's brilliant to have all the Xmas recipes to hand in one place and your tips are great
Looking forward to the rest
Mary and John xx
It's all very well having these superb time saving tips but you have to realise that it doesn't help everybody. My to-do list is getting longer every day. Your mother reads each one and then says - 'you can do that Al'.
The good thing is that you can get started on most of them straight away. Now all you need to do is find some space in the freezer!
Made this Christmas Eve and was really pleased with the results. Especially as, like you said, Rachel, it freezes beautifully. The addition of the cranberry sauce made it really good.
Fantastic Denise. Hope this will now be one of your go-to Christmas recipes.