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Put all the ingredients except the pears in a large pan and cover with a tight- fitting lid. Cook on a low heat for 1 hr, then stir through the pears. Cover and cook for 1 hr more until the cabbage is really tender. If at any point the cabbage looks dry, add a splash of water. If there is still liquid in the pan at the end, turn the heat right up to evaporate it. Season with a little salt and serve. The cabbage can be prepared ahead and either chilled or frozen. Then reheat in the pan or in a microwave.