Cabbage, red, green or otherwise, hasn’t played an enormous role in my cookery over the years, apart from the occasional coleslaw and one attempt at Colcannon mash. But a few weeks ago, I had an urge to make a beef stir-fry – a mostly healthy concoction packed with vegetables galore. One of the vegetables I chose was red cabbage. It wasn’t because I was desperate to feel the smooth crunch of red cabbage in my mouth or taste its earthy (some would say farty…) flavours.

It was pure aesthetics. I just chose it because of the colour. Red cabbage is such a divine rich purple-red. It brightens up any dish, even if the flavour isn’t in my top 10 or even top 20.

But after I made the stir-fry, I still had half a red cabbage left over. So I turned it into two separate servings of braised red cabbage to serve as a bold side to other things, as well as a lively addition to sausage and egg butties. One was a fairly traditional braised red cabbage and for the second one, I added creme fraiche to make it, er, creamy.

Below is the recipe with the creme fraiche option, which is basically “add a good dollop of creme fraiche to the pot, let it warm through and serve to even the staunchest red cabbage naysayer”.

Braised red cabbage – a super side dish


25g salted butter

1/4 red cabbage, shredded

1 onion finely chopped

3/4 cup (175ml) stock (any flavour is fine)

2 tablespoons vinegar (any vinegar is fine)

Seasoning to taste – I used salt, pepper, paprika, basil and sumac

Optional: 2 tablespoons creme fraiche


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the shredded red cabbage and chopped onion and cook until the onion is soft.
  3. Add the stock and vinegar, bring to the boil and reduce for about five minutes.
  4. Add the seasonings and creme fraiche if desired. Serve immediately, although leftovers do keep well in the fridge for a few days.

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