Posts Tagged ‘juniper berries’


A cabbage once got the job of representing my head.

A grisly tale this.

In 1971 I played the foolish, arrogant, headstrong Earl of Essex in Elizabeth R opposite a formidable Glenda Jackson as Elizabeth.

The young jackanapes got it into his head to start a rebellion against the Virgin Queen.

He’d been her favorite for years and had been forgiven much–but this she couldn’t ignore. He found himself on Tower Green and a rendezvous with the headsman.

The powers that be at BBC Television Centre decided the most realistic way to replicate the sound of a head being chopped off was to lop a cabbage in half!

I have only recently been able to eat them without getting nervous!

Here the abused cabbage is restored to its proper place–on the table.

Not as spectacular, but last night we found ourselves forking a little more and then a little more onto our plates–until there was none!

for 2

1 small cabbage–halved vertically and sliced finely

1 clove of garlic–sliced finely

1 small onion–chopped small

10 juniper berries–crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

a splash of water

  • Heat the oil in a pan.
  • When hot, sauté the garlic until it starts to color.
  • Add the onion and stir fry until the onion catches up with the garlic.


  • Add the cabbage and the juniper berries and turn all together thoroughly in the garlic, onion and oil mix.


  • Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for a further ten minutes to soften the cabbage.
  • Add a splash of water if the cabbage starts to catch (stick to the pan)
  • Be generous with the pepper and sprinkle some salt over.


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I found this in my old paste-in foolscap notebook and have been meaning to try it for a while.

Cabbage has been on my mind since leaving Strasbourg–and pork for that matter!

An example of this brightly colored variety of red cabbage was waiting patiently in the fridge for my return.

So lunch yesterday was a pork chop on a bed of red cabbage.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion–sliced fine

red cabbage–shredded not too fine

2 sticks of celery–sliced fine

1 apple–peeled, quartered, cored and chopped into chunks

10 juniper berries–crushed

Juice of a lemon

Juice of an orange

1 tablespoon cider vinegar


  • In a pan large enough to hold all the ingredients, sauté the onion gently in the oil until it is soft–about 5 minutes.
  • Add the shredded cabbage, the celery and apple and turn these over with the onion and oil.
  • Cook this mix for another 5 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt.
  • Pour over the two juices, the vinegar and the juniper berries.
  • Add a good pinch of salt.
  • Turn it all over carefully to distribute the liquids.
  • Cover the pan and continue cooking for about 20 minutes–the time depends on the toughness of the cabbage–it should be nicely tender to the bite.
The cabbage and apple married well with the pork.
I’ll write up the simple pork recipe tomorrow.
Next time–red cabbage with a slow cooked fillet of salmon.

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This is adapted from a recipe by Matthew Fort (food columnist for The Guardian) that I spotted recently.

Cooked long in a low oven, it’s simple and straightforward–requiring minimal effort on a hot day.

Hand of pork [jarret in French] is located below the shoulder and on the bone . It’s a tasty but less expensive cut–and stays moist through the long-ish braise.
Four of us just had it for lunch.

Two hands of pork–deboned and skinned (the butcher will do this when he’s not busy) or leave the bone in–just makes it harder to carve, but the meat should fall off the bone anyway.

1 teaspoon of juniper berries

6/7 bay leaves

1 teaspoon of black peppercorns

150 ml cider vinegar

100 ml water

pinch of salt

I added a couple of small fennel bulbs I had in the fridgecleaned & halved (optional)

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F

  • With a sharp knife carefully strip off as much as you can of the fat layer left on the pork.
  • Put the bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns and fennel pieces in a casserole.
  • Lay the pork hands on top–(ours had separated into 4 largish pieces after boning)–and lightly salt them.
  • Pour over the vinegar and water.
  • Bring this gently up to a simmer.
  • Cook in the low oven for 2 hours.
  • Take the dish out of the oven.
  • Leave aside the pork pieces in the warm casserole–but ladle or spoon the liquid–which will be too tart– into small saucepan and reduce it by half.
  • Taste it–and when it tastes like a sauce you like, pour it into a warmed gravy jug.
  • The pork pieces don’t carve easily.
  • We served the pork in tasty looking chunks with a little of the gravy poured over them.

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