Delia Smith Red Cabbage Recipe

Delia Smith Red Cabbage Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Mins

Delia Smith Red Cabbage recipe is a vibrant and flavorful dish, offering a perfect blend of sweet and tangy tastes. Known for its deep, rich color and aromatic spices, this dish transforms the humble cabbage into a star accompaniment, ideal for complementing a variety of main courses.

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What is Delia Smith Red Cabbage Recipe?

Delia Smith Red Cabbage is a delicious dish made with red cabbage, onion, apple, garlic, spices, sugar, vinegar, and butter. It is cooked slowly in the oven until the cabbage is tender and the flavors are well combined. It is a traditional and festive side dish that goes well with roast meats, especially during the winter months.

Designed to serve around 6-8 people, this recipe can be prepared in about 1.5 to 2 hours, making it a great choice for family dinners or festive gatherings.

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Why You Love this Recipe

Delia Smith’s Red Cabbage recipe is a delightful blend of nutrition and taste, perfect for a cozy meal.

  • Simplicity and Convenience: With easy-to-find ingredients, this recipe is straightforward to prepare.
  • Perfect for Leftovers: An excellent way to utilize leftover cabbage.
  • Nutritious: Loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C.
  • Flavorful Delight: Offers a unique blend of sweet and tangy tastes with the warmth of spices.
  • Prep-Friendly: Ideal for making ahead, and it freezes well for future use.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Red Cabbage

To make Delia Smith’s red cabbage recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 medium red cabbage (about 2 pounds or 900 grams)
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 large cooking apples, such as Bramley or Granny Smith, cored and chopped (no need to peel them)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons of soft brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 ounces (50 grams) of butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Useful Equipment

To make Delia Smith’s red cabbage recipe, you will need the following equipment:

  • A sharp knife and a cutting board
  • A food processor (optional, but helpful for shredding the cabbage)
  • A large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid
  • A wooden spoon or spatula
  • An oven preheated to 300°F (150°C) or gas mark 2

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Red Cabbage

Here are the steps to make Delia Smith’s red cabbage recipe:

Step 1: Prepare the Cabbage

  • Remove the tough outer leaves and cut the cabbage into quarters.
  • Cut out the hard stalk and discard it.
  • Finely shred the cabbage with a knife or a food processor. You should have about 8 cups (1.2 liters) of shredded cabbage.

Step 2: Layer the Ingredients

  • In a large ovenproof casserole dish, arrange a layer of cabbage and season it with salt and pepper.
  • Then add a layer of onion, apple, garlic, spices, and sugar.
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a layer of cabbage.
  • Pour the vinegar over the top and dot with butter.

Step 3: Cook the Cabbage

  • Cover the casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid and place it in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) or gas mark 2.
  • Cook for 2 to 2 and a half hours, stirring once or twice during the cooking time.
  • The cabbage should be tender and the liquid should be reduced and syrupy.
  • If the cabbage looks too dry, you can add a little water or more vinegar. If it looks too wet, you can uncover the dish and cook it for a few more minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.

Step 4: Serve the Cabbage

  • You can serve the cabbage hot, warm, or at room temperature.
  • It goes well with roast lamb, venison, goose, or any other meat of your choice.
  • You can also serve it with mashed potatoes, bread, or rice.
  • Enjoy!
Delia Smith Red Cabbage
Delia Smith Red Cabbage

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Red Cabbage?

Delia Smith Red Cabbage is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of meats, such as:

  • Roast lamb, ham, or bacon
  • Venison, lamb, or beef
  • Goose, duck, or turkey
  • Sausages, meatballs, or meatloaf

You can also serve it with vegetarian or vegan options, such as:

  • Tofu, tempeh, or seitan
  • Lentils, beans, or chickpeas
  • Nuts, seeds, or cheese

To complete the meal, you can serve it with some starches, such as:

  • Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or potato gratin
  • Bread, rolls, or biscuits
  • Rice, couscous, or quinoa
  • Pasta, noodles, or dumplings

You can also add some extra vegetables, such as:

  • Carrots, parsnips, or turnips
  • Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower
  • Green beans, peas, or corn
  • Salad, coleslaw, or pickles

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Red Cabbage

Ensure your red cabbage dish is as flavorful as it can be with these tips:

  • Right Cookware: A large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight lid is key to prevent drying.
  • Cabbage Prep: Finely shred the cabbage to achieve an even texture throughout.
  • Apple Selection: Tart cooking apples like Bramley or Granny Smith enhance the dish’s flavor.
  • Sugar Type: Soft brown sugar adds a deep, caramel taste, but other sweeteners like honey or maple syrup are also great.
  • Vinegar Choices: Use red wine vinegar for its fruity tang; other options like sherry or balsamic work well too.
  • Balance the Flavors: Adjust the sugar and vinegar to suit your palate and tweak the spices as needed.
  • Cooking Care: Stir occasionally, add liquids if too dry, or cook uncovered to reduce excess moisture.

Red Cabbage Recipe Delia Smith

Variations of Delia Smith Red Cabbage

Enhance the classic recipe with these variations:

  • Sweet Additions: Mix in raisins, cranberries, or dried cherries for a touch of sweetness.
  • Citrus and Spice: Incorporate orange or lemon zest, or a hint of ginger for a fresh zing.
  • Herbal Aromas: Add bay leaves, thyme, or rosemary for aromatic depth.
  • Rich Liquors: Stir in red wine, port, or brandy for added complexity.
  • Nutty Crunch: Include walnuts, pecans, or almonds for texture and protein.

How do I store Delia Smith Red Cabbage Leftovers?

Proper storage methods to keep your dish fresh:

  • Refrigerate: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
  • Freeze: Store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat.
  • Canning: Can the cabbage in sterilized jars, process in a water bath for 15 minutes, and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Red Cabbage Leftovers?

You can reheat Delia Smith Red Cabbage leftovers in the following ways:

  • Stovetop: Warm in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust consistency with water or vinegar as needed.
  • Oven: Place in a baking dish, cover with foil, and heat at 350°F (180°C) for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil for additional browning if desired.
  • Microwave: Heat in a microwave-safe bowl, covered, on high for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust flavor and consistency as required.

Nutrition Value (approximate per serving):

  • Calories: 150-200 kcal
  • Fat: 7-10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20-25 g
  • Protein: 2-3 g
  • Fiber: 4-5 g
  • Sugar: 12-15 g
  • Vitamin C: High content
  • Antioxidants: Contains anthocyanins from red cabbage


Can I Substitute the Red Wine Vinegar in the Recipe?

Yes, you can substitute red wine vinegar with apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar for a different flavor profile. Each will bring its unique taste to the dish.

Is This Dish Suitable for Vegetarians?

Absolutely. Delia Smith’s Red Cabbage recipe is vegetarian-friendly as it contains no meat products. Just ensure that the butter used is suitable for vegetarians.

Can I Make Delia Smith’s Red Cabbage Without Sugar?

Yes, the sugar can be reduced or omitted based on dietary preferences. You can also use alternatives like honey or maple syrup, but this will slightly alter the flavor.

How Can I Make This Dish More Spicy?

To add more heat, you can include a small amount of chili powder or red pepper flakes into the spice mix. Adjust the quantity to suit your taste preference.


Delia Smith’s red cabbage recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy this healthy and colorful vegetable. It is a perfect side dish for any festive occasion, especially during the winter months. It is also a great way to use up any leftover cabbage that you may have in your fridge. Try it today and let me know what you think!

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