Red cabbage used to be found in markets in late fall, just before Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, making it a quintessential holiday dish: christmas red cabbage.
Popular in Madrid and Castilla y León, this dish consists of crispy cabbage seasoned with vinegar or wine. Spices such as cinnamon, star anise or cloves can be added, with apple being another big favorite no matter the region.
How to make red cabbage, Castilian style:
Remark: Red cabbage needs an acidic ingredient — wine, citrus or vinegar — to keep its vibrant color while cooking. Adding sweet fruits like raisins or prunes balances out the acidity.
- Cut out the core and throw it away. Grate the cabbage and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion for 3 minutes. Stir in the shredded cabbage and simmer for 1 minute.
- Pour over the wine and mix well.
- Add the plums, water, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender – 20 minutes for slightly crispy, 40 minutes for very tender.