Sweet potato and red cabbage gratin

Sweet potato and red cabbage gratin

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alan Benson

This is the perfect vegetable dish to serve in the middle of the table, hot and sizzling straight from the oven. I really like the strong red cabbage and wine flavours with the spices, which play against the sweet potato and cream. Of course you can try using white cabbage and, instead of red wine, verjuice. You will be surprised by the effect of adding the grated white potato to the cabbage – the starch really does make the juice into a lovely velvety sauce. If the cream you use is too heavy, it will split in the oven during cooking and give you a layer of fat on top of your gratin. Pouring cream is best, but if you have thickened cream, add a little milk to it to make it thinner.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm thick disks
600ml pouring cream (35% fat)
1 whole nutmeg

Braised red cabbage

Quantity Ingredient
1 red cabbage, finely shredded
25g duck fat or butter
125g brown onions, diced
5g caraway seeds
4 cloves
2g juniper berries
2 bay leaves
250ml red wine
100ml apple juice
100g desiree potatoes, grated
50g honey, to taste
125g unsalted butter

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. For the braised red cabbage, put the cabbage in a colander, sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon salt then leave for 1 hour. Rinse the cabbage.
  3. Melt the duck fat in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, caraway seeds, cloves, juniper berries and bay leaves and sweat until the onion is translucent. Add the cabbage, wine and apple juice to the pan. Cover with baking paper, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 hour until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the potato and cook for another 30 minutes – the potato will give the cabbage a creamy texture.
  4. Remove from the oven and stir in the honey. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir the butter through the hot cabbage mixture. Increase the oven temperature to 180°C.
  5. Add the braised cabbage to the frying pan and place the discs of sweet potato on top. Pour the cream over slowly, so it works its way into the cabbage and gradually covers the sweet potato. Grate over some nutmeg and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 30–45 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A (for good vision), B complex (for healthy skin and hair), C (to boost immunity) and K (to help with blood clotting). They also contain potassium, which helps balance the body’s fluids and lower blood pressure.
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