This classic recipe is an example of dry brining, where the vegetable is layered with salt. As well as red cabbage, it is also suitable for cucumber, tomatoes and marrow. Slice cucumber and tomatoes and dice marrow. Peel or not as you prefer. This is the only pickle that should not be allowed to mature, as it loses its crispness after 2-3 months. You will need 5kg (3lb) finely shredded firm red cabbage, 2sliced large onions, 4tablespoons table salt, 2.4litres (4pints) spiced vinegar (above) and 1tablespoonsoft brown sugar.
Layer the cabbage and onions in a large bowl, sprinkling each layer with salt, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 24 hours. The next day, drain the cabbage and onions well, rinse off the surplus salt thoroughly and drain again.
Pack loosely into clean, dry wide-necked jars to within 2.5cm (lin) of the top. Heat the spiced vinegar gently, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool, then pour over the cabbage and onions and cover immediately with vinegar-proof tops.