With cabbage, the general rule is not to overcook, else it gives off a very strong sulfurous smell that puts people off. But with red cabbage, this long-cooking slow-braising method with the sweet apple and spices bring out the flavours better! There are many variations, I tweaked a few versions I came across, combining this that based on what I liked, and er, what I had in the kitchen.
Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
1 medium red cabbage, sliced thinly
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 large eating apple, chopped (I don't find cooking apples very justified. They give a tartness, but you need to add extra sugar to balance out its lack of sweetness. I find a normal apple sweet and although not that sour, hey there's vinegar added! But maybe I'm being simplistic.)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I've seen recipes with white/red wine vinegar instead, but I like the idea of using apple cider vinegar in a dish with apples. )
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (oomph up the sweetness!)
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
pinch of nutmeg, cinammon (if you've got whole ones, use those!)
knob of butter
1. Melt butter in a large pot. Add the whole spices first.
2. Add the onions, and let it cook until golden.
3. Add the apples and the ground spices, and cook for 2 min or so.
4. Add in all the cabbage, plus the vinegar.
5. Put the lid on and let it slowly cook for about 1 h., stirring once in a while.
You get a great chuntey-style sweet cabbage dish, very good with pork of course,and supposedly game meat and goose too, though I haven't tried that out before. This dish keeps well, the flavours actually intensify after they spend some time together in the fridge. (oh then it becomes really sort of like a pickle/chutney huh)
I've seen recipes calling for added red wine/cider, you can try that too.
I've also seen a Jamie Oliver recipe with bacon and fennel, which is worth a try too.