Braised Red Cabbage

This Braised Red Cabbage topped with crispy bacon and rosemary is a delicious side dish for the wintertime and holidays.

Hello everyone and to all my American friends: Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I’ve got something that’s probably not necessarily associated with Christmas, but Jamie Oliver and I have decided this can easily be a perfect festive side dish. As I mentioned above, I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s YouTube video recipe (I love watching a special Holiday series by Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey – it always gives me some holiday vibes, and sometimes inspiration, too! Do you know any other chefs who have Christmas recipe video editions? Please let me know!)

In the original recipe, Jamie used quite a few ingredients that bring up all the sweetness like prunes, apples, and a lot of balsamic. However, I decided to limit the recipe to only some prunes (Don’t worry about them – they basically disintegrate while cooking) and a good drizzle of balsamic. Next, fennel seeds – such a beautiful addition, too. Finally, this crispy bacon rosemary situation? Honestly, I was hocked on this part. While normally I try substituting prosciutto or less fatty versions for real bacon, I didn’t have any doubts this time. Only real bacon. Calories don’t count in December! (And if they did count, who cares anyway?) My friends, you’ve got to trust me – this bacon rosemary topping is a real deal. I will definitely use it for my recipes in the future.

As you realize, this Braised Red Cabbage is a savoury, salty & (lightly) sweet recipe. Please go ahead to play with the combination – you can either decrease or increase the prunes or completely omit this part. The only one thing you should not do is skipping the real bacon – rosemary part. That’s the most essential part here, I believe.

I hope you like this Braised Red Cabbage and give it a try during the holiday season.


Braised Red Cabbage

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  • 1 large cabbage (about 2 pounds), outer leaves removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • a large handful of pitted prunes
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 5 to 7 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp. butter (optional)
  • about 150 gr. smoky bacon, finely sliced
  • 3-5 rosemary sprigs


  1. Place the bacon in a large pan on a medium heat with 1 tbsp. with olive oil, until it has rendered and started to crisp, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rosemary leaves into the pan, stir for a few minutes until changed the colour and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and rosemary to a plate, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
  3. Add the fennel seeds and prunes and cook 1 minute.
  4. Add the balsamic, cabbage, salt and pepper.
  5. Cook with a lid on a low-medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  6. Just before turning the heat off, you can optionally add 1-2 tbsp. of butter. Also, Jamie added the juice of one clementine.
  7. Serve sprinkled with the crispy bacon and rosemary leaves.
  8. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Braised Red Cabbage

  1. Calories definitely don’t count in December! That’s what the first week of January is for. :-) Plus, bacon makes everything better. We just made a batch of cole slaw, and I’ve got some leftover cabbage. I’m totally going to make a small batch of this now! It sounds like the perfect side dish. Thanks, Ben!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Esther’s Sugar CookiesMy Profile

  2. This looks like a fantastic side to go with turkey on Christmas Day. I too love watching Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey on youtube. Jamie’s Christmas programs are on the TV here in the afternoon. I’m addicted! Just like how I would be to this braised red cabbage. Yum!
    Neil recently posted…Baked Cranberry OatmealMy Profile

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