Braised Red Cabbage with Fruit and Fennel Seed

Last summer a dear friend of my parent’s let me go through his recipe note-book.  I have written about this family friend before because he has been a food hero of mine since my childhood.   For a story about the time that Keith served me quiche on his boat when I was little click here.  For a story about how Keith helped my soon to be husband and I forage for wild plums to make chutney for our wedding click here.  For pictures of beautiful north-west coast salmon caught by Keith click here.  For a recipe for moussaka with figs inspired by a suggestion from Keith click here.

I make Braised Red Cabbage with Apples every winter, usually when I have some duck or goose fat that wants using up.  This recipe does not require any duck fat, but it includes some other wonderful  flavours such as blackcurrant and fennel seed.  The result is a lip smacking fruity cabbage side dish.  If you do not want to buy a bottle of blackcurrant cordial you could skip it and use blackcurrant juice instead of apple cider, but a bottle of Creme de Cassis is not bad thing to have kicking around.

We had this cabbage as part of our Thanksgiving feast.  But, I am looking forward to making it again soon as a side dish with pork chops and mashed potatoes.


  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon fennel seed
  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 Tablespoons blackcurrant cordial (such as Creme de Cassis)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 Tablespoon  salt
  • 1 apple (or pear) peeled cored and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  1. Saute the onions and fennel seed in the butter over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the cabbage and cover the skillet.  Let it cook until the cabbage is wilted a bit (about 5 minutes).
  3. Uncover and add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook over medium high heat for 45 minutes and serve hot.


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