Port-pickled Red Cabbage from Chef James at Glen Affric

This rich, satisfying cabbage dish with sweet and sour notes makes a wonderful accompaniment to game at this time of year – serve as a great base for venison, grouse, partridge or mallard. You can vary the sharp – sweet balance according to taste, just adjust the sugar and vinegar to suit. This can be prepared in advance and warmed through just before serving, a great help if you have guests for dinner.

Here’s how it’s made…


Serves 8-10 as an accompaniment



1 medium red cabbage

100g butter

50g demerera sugar

225ml red wine

225ml port

125ml wine vinegar

4 juniper berries, lightly crushed

4 star anise, whole

Zest of 1/2 an orange, in strips

Salt and pepper



Shred the cabbage as finely as possible – using the slicing attachment of a food processor gives good results and saves time, if you have one.

In a heavy based casserole pan, gently melt the butter. Add the cabbage and coat in the butter, turning the cabbage over a medium heat until the cabbage begins to sizzle.

Add the demerera sugar, the juniper berries, star anise and orange peel and stir, before adding the wine, wine vinegar and port. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to a very gentle simmer and cook for two to three hours. At this stage, the liquid will have reduced and the cabbage will be a dark, rich red colour. Taste, and adjust seasoning to taste, before serving with your chosen accompaniment – pictured here with loin of venison, Affric greenhouse chard, heritage carrots and peppercorn sauce.

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