Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage Recipe

Last updated on March 30, 2024

Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr 15 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 30 Mins

The Hairy Bikers’ Red Cabbage recipe is a vibrant and flavorful twist on the traditional side dish. Known for their unique and approachable cooking style, the Hairy Bikers have crafted this recipe to be both comforting and intriguing, perfect for festive occasions or family meals.

In this article, I will show you how to make the Hairy Bikers red cabbage recipe step by step and give you some tips and variations to make it your own. Let’s get started!

What is Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage?

Hairy Bikers red cabbage is a recipe for braised red cabbage with apples, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices. It is named after the Hairy Bikers, a duo of British chefs and TV personalities who are known for their love of comfort food and adventure. The recipe is simple and easy to make and creates a sweet and tangy dish that is perfect for winter and festive occasions.

This dish, serving a good number, can be prepared in about 1 to 1.5 hours. It combines rich colors and deep flavors, making it as visually appealing as it is delicious.

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Why You Love this Recipe

This recipe will quickly become a favorite for several reasons:

  • Healthful Ingredient: Red cabbage is not only vibrant and flavorful but also packed with nutrients, making this dish both a visual and healthful addition to your meals.
  • Ease of Preparation: A simple one-pot recipe, it calls for basic preparation – just chop, toss, and bake. This method allows the natural flavors to meld beautifully with minimal effort.
  • Versatile Serving Options: It’s a versatile dish that pairs excellently as a side with meats or as a hearty main course. Serve it alongside meats, cheeses, and breads, or enjoy it solo with a comforting side of mashed potatoes and gravy.
  • Perfect for Make-Ahead: Ideal for advance preparation, this dish develops deeper flavors when made ahead, easily stored and reheated, saving you time and enhancing taste.

Ingredients Needed to Make Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage

To make the Hairy Bikers red cabbage recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 large red cabbage (about 1 kg), cored and finely shredded
  • 2 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 4 tbsp of soft brown sugar
  • 150 ml of red wine vinegar
  • 50 g of butter
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg

Useful Equipment

You will also need the following equipment:

  • A large ovenproof casserole dish with a lid
  • A sharp knife and a cutting board
  • A measuring cup and spoons
  • A wooden spoon or spatula

Instructions to Make Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage

Follow these instructions to make the Hairy Bikers red cabbage recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C (130°C fan, gas mark 2).
  2. In a large bowl, toss the shredded cabbage with the salt, pepper, and spices.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and vinegar until dissolved.
  4. In a large ovenproof casserole dish, layer half of the cabbage, half of the onions, and half of the apples. Dot with half of the butter and pour over half of the sugar and vinegar mixture. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a layer of cabbage.
  5. Cover the casserole dish with a lid and bake in the oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and the liquid is reduced.
  6. Enjoy your Hairy Bikers red cabbage hot or cold, as a side dish or a main course.

Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage

What Do I Serve With Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage?

Pair this delightful red cabbage with:

  • Roast Meats: Enhance its sweet and tangy profile by serving it with roast beef, turkey, or ham. Drizzle meat juices or gravy for added richness.
  • Cheese Varieties: Complement the cabbage with cheese like cheddar, brie, or blue cheese, either melted on top or served alongside for a creamy, salty contrast.
  • Bread Selections: Pair with various bread types – crusty bread, rolls, or naan – to soak up the flavorful juices and balance the dish’s acidity.
  • Fresh Salads: Lighten the meal with a fresh salad – green, coleslaw, or potato – dressed in your favorite dressing, adding crunch and a fresh contrast to the meal.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage

Enhance your Hairy Bikers red cabbage with these expert tips:

  1. Consistent Slicing: Slice cabbage, onions, and apples evenly and thinly for uniform cooking and better flavor distribution.
  2. Appropriate Cookware: Use a large, heavy ovenproof casserole dish with a tight lid to prevent the cabbage from drying or burning.
  3. Regular Stirring: Stir the cabbage mixture occasionally during baking to ensure even heat distribution and flavor infusion.
  4. Season to Taste: Before serving, taste the cabbage and adjust the seasoning and sweetness to your preference. Feel free to add more salt, pepper, sugar, or vinegar as needed.

Variations of Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage

Personalize the classic Hairy Bikers red cabbage recipe:

  • Cabbage Choices: Experiment with white cabbage for a different flavor and color profile.
  • Onion Varieties: Choose from white, yellow, or shallots instead of red onions for subtle flavor differences.
  • Fruit Options: Use Granny Smith, Braeburn, or Golden Delicious apples, or even pears, either alone or in combination.
  • Vinegar Selections: Try apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar in place of red wine vinegar. Lemon or orange juice can also add a fresh twist.
  • Sweetener Alternatives: Opt for white, caster sugar, or honey instead of soft brown sugar, adjusting the amount to taste.
  • Fat Variations: Use margarine, oil, or lard instead of butter for a different fat content, or omit it for a lighter version.
  • Additional Spices: Incorporate spices like allspice, ginger, or cardamom, or use premixed spices for convenience and varied flavor.
  • Extra Ingredients: Enhance the dish with dried fruits, nuts, bacon, or sausage for added heartiness and taste.

How do I store Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage Leftovers?

Properly store your leftover red cabbage for later enjoyment:

  • Cooling: Allow the cabbage to cool completely before storage to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Labeling: Mark the container with the dish’s name and date for easy identification.
  • Spacing: Leave some room in the container, as the mixture may expand when frozen.
  • Thawing: Defrost in the refrigerator overnight to maintain texture and flavor.

How do I reheat Hairy Bikers Red Cabbage Leftovers?

Reheat your red cabbage for a delicious second serving:

  • Preheating: Warm your oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4) or set your stovetop to medium-high.
  • Moisturizing: If the mixture seems dry, add a little water or broth.
  • Covering: Use foil or a lid to cover the dish or saucepan for even heating.
  • Stirring and Seasoning: Stir occasionally during reheating and adjust seasoning as desired.


The Hairy Bikers red cabbage recipe is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this healthy and versatile vegetable. It is easy to make, requires only a few ingredients, and can be customized to your liking. It is a great dish for winter and festive occasions, or for any day of the year. Try it today and let me know what you think!

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