Quarter the cabbage and cut away the core. Pressing the cut surface firmly on the board, shred the cabbage across very finely. Wash in cold water. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the peeled and finely chopped onion. Cook gently for a few minutes until the onion softens, then pack the cabbage into the pan. Add sufficient boiling water to cover the base of the pan generously – about
Peel, core and cut up the apples and add. Season with salt and freshly milled pepper, then add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir to mix well. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 3–4 hours. Red cabbage should be cooked slowly and for a long time. Keep the pan tightly covered; once the apples begin to pulp down no more water should be required. Stir occasionally and towards the end of the cooking time taste and add more sugar or lemon juice to your liking.
Serve hot with roast pork or duck, with grilled chops or any rich meat or game.