Monday night preserves – Christmas spiced red cabbage and home grown chicken

When I think of preserving, my thoughts don’t always lend themselves straight to the freezer which is crazy really as it’s one of today’s modern options for preserving our harvests.  This week we have switched on the new (to us) chest freezer that we were given, as we will shortly have the pigs to fill it.  It seems to be working fine thankfully, got to love a freebie.
So that got me thinking and when I wandered round the veg plot the other morning I noticed every single red cabbage was doing great and they would need harvesting very soon.
So for my Monday preserve, I decided to trial a Christmas cabbage recipe as those of you who were hear last year know I love red cabbage at Christmas!  It freezes amazingly and tastes even better afterward in my opinion.
This new recipe from BBC Good Food which is Spiced red cabbage.

I’ve used 2 heads of cabbage for this recipe as mine came in short of the kilo that it recommended, but not far off.  I also used 2 red onions of my own, very satisfying feeling.  Don’t the cabbages look pretty?

Method taken from BBC Good Food.
Sweat 2 onions and add the zest of an orange and a cinnamon stick after 5 mins.  Give them a minute to fuse and then add the cabbage (shredded and washed), 150ml port and a dash of red wine vinegar.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for up to an hour.  It looked delicious!
We also dispatched our first Ross Cobb chicken at the weekend which was to see how big it was based on it’s current age (9 weeks).  We’re wanting to slow grow them but trial and error as to when they would be ready.  Well it surprised both of us, already weighing in as a table ready bird of 1.8kg.  I’m really pleased as this is a milestone for us, meaning we will never have to buy shop bought chicken again! 
For those who are interested we also did a cockerel, but he will be as tough as old boots I think (weighed in at 3kg, a Rhode Island Red) and we did them using our new area set up specifically for working on the poultry.  As this is a preserving post and to avoid upsetting people just looking for preserving info, I’ll post about that in another post later this week.
So our freezers are now starting to fill up nicely for the leaner growing months ahead.  We’re one step further onto the path of self sufficiency (long it may be!).

23 thoughts on “Monday night preserves – Christmas spiced red cabbage and home grown chicken

  1. I am soooo putting red cabbage on my sowing list next year. The recipe looks yummy! How fantastic being able now to always provide your own chickens, that one looks yummy, too, and this one of our aims next year. And yes I love a freebie too!


  2. Aaaah, another red cabbage and turkey lover. I thought I was one of a kind 😉 It is very prevalent in Germany (my late MiL always made it to bring to our Christmas lunch). I love the combination of red cabbage and turkey. I add a touch of aniseed and a couple of cooking apples finely cubed apples or apple puree to my red cabbage.


  3. congrats on your chicken! it looks yummy. My Gran used to boil a cockerel quartered, to make stock and soup, the meat was generally tough so we would use that to feed the cat and dogs. But the soups was lovely! yum I can taste it now. I have just shown my sister the red cabbage, I think we will have to make this at Christmas.


  4. Nicely done! I'll have to try this cabbage recipe, we've never had it done like that. As for older birds they make the BEST stock. If they aren't too ancient I crock pot cook them then uae the meat for enchilada. The oldest one we've eaten this way was a 4 year old hen. The meat was a bit stringy but the flavor was great.


  5. Hi TraceyThose cabbages look good. I will quite happily eat red cabbage pickled but not cooked but each to their own. We serve it on salad leaves during the winter months and it livens things up a little bit.The chicken looks good. My Nan used to use the cockerels for stock more than anything else as they were a bit too tough. Even though she used to cook them in a big green enamel lidded pan akin to a Dutch oven in the Rayburn. Its funny what you remember. But your chicken looks really good. That's another thing off the list then. Well done you. You are really finding your groove. It couldn't happen to a nicer couple and its lovely seeing things come together for you all. I am desperate to play but this week is turning into one of those weeks and I haven't even got into the garden tonight as I have had paperwork to deal with. Mind you its really hot in the house but cold outside. Catch up with you soon. Pattypanxx


  6. It always amazes me how much you have accomplished while you are both working full-time. You are becoming more and more self sufficient all the time.


  7. I didnt get any red cabbage done this year wish I had now, I keep eyeing up our ross cobbs there is some good sizes there, perhaps this week end we will have one. 🙂


  8. I am definitely going to pickle some now you have suggested that, thank you.Thank you for your kind words. Hasn't this weather been crazy? Too hot then quite cool – the veg doesn't know what is going on!!


  9. We got net tunnels big enough to do a row of cabbages at Poundland for, obviously, £1. they have done us fine this year and will last a few more years too : )


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