Wash the cabbage, remove any old outer leaves and cut out the core. Slice the cabbage into quarters, then slice each quarter thinly.
Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Peel, halve and finely slice the onion.
Add the cabbage, apples and onion to a pot, along with the water, wine and vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, give it a stir, cover with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t scorch on the bottom of the pot. If necessary, add a little extra water.
Stir in the sugar, star anise (if using) and spices, season with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes or until the cabbage and apples are soft.