A very popular European dish, with many countries using it in one way or another in a traditional dish. Itâ€™s quite easy to see why too â€“ it keeps for such a long time without the need for storing it in a refridgerator, and goes with Pork, Beef and Lamb, as well as other vegetables and pasta dishes.
Literally, itâ€™s sour cabbage. Donâ€™t let that put you off â€“ itâ€™s very good for you â€“ very high in Vitamins, good bacteria and other important nutrition.
You can always add extra fruit and vegetables to make it your own â€“ carrots, different cabbages, onion, beetroot, applesâ€¦the list goes on!
Fine Sea Salt
Storage Pot (not plastic or metal)
1.Â Â Â Â Â Shred the cabbage. Chop it in a fine pieces, or coarsely. Dump it in the mixing bowl and add salt as you go
2.Â Â Â Â Â To add any extra fruit and vegetables, grate or dice them. Personally, I like the flavours that you get from the mix of Carrot and Garlic. Grate and Dice any extra fruit and vegetables, and add these to the bowl, with the extra salt.
3.Â Â Â Â Â Squeeze and mix everything together. Try using your hands to start off with, because you can squeeze harder.
4.Â Â Â Â Â After getting some of the moisture out, start to pack the mix into the ceramic storage pot â€“ make sure you can cover whatever sized pot you use. Pack it into the jar very tightly, making sure you can compress it down further.
5.Â Â Â Â Â Cover with a snug fitting cap, or a plate if you have one which fits. Place something heavy on top to weigh it down (large water bottle, or a rock) to make sure that the mix is completely covered under the brine. Cover the whole assembly with a towel or cloth to keep any bugs and insects out
6.Â Â Â Â Â Every few hours for a couple of days, press down on top of the weight to make sure itâ€™s all still submerged. If it isnâ€™t youâ€™ll just have old cabbage, so youâ€™ll have to add more water and some more salt.
7.Â Â Â Â Â After the first two days, check it less often. It will reduce in volume as it begins to ferment, and some mould or scum may appear on the surface. Skim it off as you see it appear, but donâ€™t worry â€“ as long as the Sauerkraut is covered, itâ€™ll be fine
8.Â Â Â Â Â Taste it after three or four days. It should begin to be tangy, and youâ€™ll be able to judge how long youâ€™ll need to leave it to get the right taste â€“ the longer itâ€™s left, the stronger it tastes.
9.Â Â Â Â Â Usually, itâ€™s ready in between three and seven days â€“ if you leave it somewhere cool (like a cold cellar, or a fridge) it can improve for months.
Thatâ€™s it. Only takes a few minutes to shred and cut everything, but then the time comes in waiting!
Photo courtesy of: bucklava