If you cook one new dish this year for Christmas dinner make it this one. It comes from chef Stephen Harris’ new book The Sportsman published by Phaidon. His restaurant of the same name was voted Best Restaurant in the UK in 2016 so you can’t go wrong!
‘This recipe arose from a comment made by René Redzepi’, says Stephen. ‘He wondered why we chefs don’t cook whole vegetables in the same way that we cook a chicken or other cut of meat: roasting, basting and so on. He experimented with roasting a whole cauliflower and that got me thinking about the way we cook vegetables at The Sportsman. I wondered why not pot-roast other vegetables. This recipe was my first attempt, and it’s become a favourite on the menu.’
1 medium red cabbage, tough outer leaves removed
150 g/5 oz (2⁄3 cup) butter
Apple Balsamic Vinegar to serve (see below for recipe)
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1 tablespoon grated red cabbage, to serve
2 Cox apples, unpeeled, cored and diced
100 g/3 ½ oz (½ cup) butter
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Apple Balsamic Vinegar (see below for recipe)
4 tablespoons neutral oil
1. Cut the cabbage in half and put in a heavy, cast-iron pan (I use an oval cocotte) with the butter and a good pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over a very low heat for 90 minutes, turning every half hour. Cooking over a low heat will steam the cabbage in the pot; too high a heat will burn the outside. Check with a small knife to see if the core is soft, and when it is ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool with the lid on.
2. While the cabbage is roasting, put the apples in a small pan with half the butter and cook gently for around 8 minutes, until soft. Stir in the remaining butter and add a pinch of salt.
3. To make the dressing, mix the mustard with the vinegar and gradually whisk in the oil, as if you were making a mayonnaise. Season to taste.
4. To serve, make artful squiggles of apple vinegar and mustard dressing on each plate. Put a spoonful of stewed apple in the centre. Slice each piece of still-warm cabbage in half and arrange one on each plate. Season lightly and top with a spoonful of cream cheese and a sprinkle of grated cabbage.
Apple balsamic vinegar
Makes 100 ml/3 fl oz (cup)
500 ml/17 fl oz (generous 2 cups) Bramley apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1. Combine the apple juice and cider vinegar in a small pan and simmer until reduced to around 100 ml/3 fl oz (scant cup) of liquid. Set aside and leave to cool.
From Stephen Harris’ book with Marina O’Loughlin The Sportsman is published by Phaidon and you can get your copy online here at the Phaidon store.