Red Cabbage with Gin and Orange

Last year, on Christmas Day, we had the most delicious goose I have ever tasted — with crispy skin and dark, tender flesh you could carve with a knife and fork. This year I can’t resist a repeat run…

I can’t quite bring myself to do an identical meal but IMHO you can’t serve goose without a tangy red cabbage. So this year I’ve decided to abandon my apple-based recipe, ringing the changes with citrussy alternative including a slosh of Gin and matching botanicals. For those of you who avoid alcohol never fear – the spirit will soon evaporate leaving the delicate botanical taste of gin behind.


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 red onions, quartered and finely sliced
  • 1 red cabbage, quartered, de-cored and sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1 juicy orange, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 a lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
  • 12 juniper berries, gently crushed
  • 20(ish) red peppercorns, crushed
  • 50ml apple cider vinegar
  • 50ml gin
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a generous heavy-bottomed pan, warm the olive oil over a medium heat then add the sliced onions and cook until transparent, stirring periodically.
  2. Add the red cabbage and toss in the pan until coated with oil and glistening.
  3. Cook with the lid off – stirring occasionally – until the cabbage starts to soften. About 10 minutes.
  4. Add the orange, lemon, rosemary, juniper, peppercorns and stir together, cooking for another 5 – 10 minutes.
  5. Then add the vinegar, gin and marmalade, stir again, put the lid on, turn the heat down low and cook gently for half an hour.
  6. At this stage you can freeze for later use…
  7. Or if you are planning to eat it today keep cooking until the cabbage is tender.
  8. Just before you are ready to serve, taste to see if you need to adjust the flavouring. It’s fine to add more orange or lemon, herbs or vinegar according to taste. (I find that with duck and goose I want a sharper flavour than with pork or chicken.)
  9. Season with salt and pepper, spoon in to a serving bowl, and serve.

Cooks Cheat

This year I’ve already cooked it in advance, frozen the lion’s share, and served the rest with a small organic venison haunch which made a delicious meal. This cabbage will keep in the freezer for 3 months or for about 4 days in the fridge so you can make ahead without freezing too.

One thought on “Red Cabbage with Gin and Orange

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s