Rudolph's Pickled Red Nosed Spiced Red Cabbage

By Duncan Tinkler on 24/12/2021

It's long been known that Spiced Red Cabbage is secretly Rudolph's favourite food, but did you know that he prefers it with a subtle hint of juniper? He also loves how the fruity sharpness that comes with pickling cut's so beautifully through your Christmas Dinner.

Not to mention that this simple recipe can be done well in advance, saving loads of time and effort on the big day. So try our mouthwatering winter warmer this Christmas. Your family are sure to love it!

Red Cabbage

Christmassy Pickled Red Cabbage


  • 1/2 Red Cabbage Chopped into strips
  • 1 Red Onion Chopped into Strips
  • 1 cup Pear/Apple/Sultanas Diced as necessary
  • 300 ml Cider Vinegar
  • 300 m Red Wine (Drinkable)
  • 1 Clove Garlic Crushed
  • 1 Stick of Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Juniper Berries or aromatics of your choice
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil/Butter for Frying


  • In some oil and melted butter, fry the onions on low in a sauce pan with lid, until soft and translucent.
  • Stir in the Aromatics, including garlic, and replace lid for a few minutes.
  • Remove lid and crank up the heat, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes.
  • Continue stirring as you slowly add the wine. Rub off any sticky bits at the bottom of the pan (de-glaze) as you do so.
  • Reduce to a medium heat and add the cabbage, stir it up and put the lid back on. Leave for about 5 minutes to wilt.
  • Chuck in the fruit.
  • Pour in the vinegar, salt and pepper, stir and bring back to the boil
  • Seal in sterilised jars ready for Christmas

So there you have it. Red cabbages can be pretty big, so don't be afraid to make several jars to give away to friends and keep the memory of Christmas going for that little bit longer.

Did you know that the The Brothers Grimm have a rather gruesome and, well, grim fairy tale called ‘The Juniper Tree’ concerning a wicked stepmother, a juniper tree and a spot of cannibalism.  A rich couple are desperate for a child.  The woman prays under a juniper tree and is soon found to be pregnant.  Unfortunately she dies in childbirth, but her son survives.  Her final request is that she is buried under the Juniper tree.

The husband remarries and has a second child, a daughter and everything seems ok.  Obviously the wicked stepmother hates the boy, so tricks him into getting an apple from a box that she uses to chop his head off.  She then reattaches the head to the boy's body and pretends that he is sleeping so that the sister accidentally knocks it off and blames herself.

The stepmother then decides the best thing to do is to chop the boy up and cook him in a stew which she serves to her husband.  “Yum Yum he says, can I have some more?  By the way, have you seen my son?”

Human Stew, probably flavoured with Juniper

A white dove that lives in the juniper tree has witnessed the whole thing.  The dove flies first to a jeweler, singing a song telling of what happened.  The jeweller pays the dove with a gold chain.  The Dove does the same for a cobbler and a miller, getting paid in shoes and a mill stone respectively.

The Dove then flies back to the house and drops the gold chain at the feet of the man, the shoes to the daughter and the mill stone on the head of the wicked stepmother. You read more about Juniper here and also get our brilliant festive sausage roll recipe!

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Article written by Duncan Tinkler

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