A recipe from the Hawksmoor At Home cookbook that’s become an absolute must when red cabbages begin showing up at our farmer’s market. The recipe is a definite two thumbs up from us! The restaurant “Hawksmoor” is a London Steakhouse just around the corner from the Guildhall. The next time we are in London, we will be beating a path to their door! Here’s a quote from Heston Blumenthal: “at the heart of Hawksmoor is the sourcing, preparing and cooking of great British ingredients.” This is for all you British food naysayers out there!
The Hawksmoor folks serve the cabbage with barbecued ribs or a burger or, or, or…
Makes 2 (1 Litre/Quart Jars)
1 small red cabbage (between 2 ½ lbs.)
100g Maldon sea salt
300ml red wine
400ml red wine vinegar
300g caster sugar (aka Berry sugar or very fine sugar)
1 star anise (whole)
3 cloves (whole)
1 tsp. black peppercorns
½ stick cinnamon
1 dried chilli (whole)
1 bay leaf
2 sterilized 1 litre/quart canning jars
Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, finely slice the red cabbage into ½ or 1” strips. (I prefer it sliced into ½” strips). Place the cabbage on a rimmed baking tray or roasting tin, cover with the salt, mixing together well so that the salt doesn’t just sit on top of the cabbage. Set aside for 3 – 4 hours.
Next make your pickling syrup. Place the liquid ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan, add the sugar, bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by half, then turn the heat down to a simmer and add the spices and bay leaf. Cook for a further 10 minutes over low heat, then allow to cool for 5 minutes off the heat before straining the spices from the syrup. Set the syrup aside to get cold.
Rinse the salted cabbage well under cold water in a colander to remove excess salt and liquid. Place the rinsed cabbage into the sterilized jars, cover with the pickling syrup. Stir once or twice to make sure all the cabbage is coated in syrup, then seal and refrigerate for a week or longer. We’ve found the longer it stands the more the flavour develops. It will keep in the fridge for several weeks.
To Sterilize the Jars: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place thoroughly washed and dried jars into the pot, cover the pot, turning down the heat to medium ensuring that the pot is still slightly boiling and sterilize the jars for a minimum of 10 minutes. Leave in the water until ready to use, simply turn down the heat to simmer until you need them.