How to make sauerkraut – recipe | Food

Korean kimchi may be getting all the good publicity right now, but German sauerkraut, or choucroute as it’s known across the border in French Alsace, is another fermented cabbage product worth your attention. Like kimchi, it’s best to eat it alive, rather than pasteurizing it, which is much easier if you make it yourself.

Homework 30 minutes
Ferment 5 days-5 weeks
brands 1 large jar

1 medium white cabbage (about 1kg)
1 tablespoon of fine salt
1 teaspoon juniper berries or caraway seeds

1 Pick your cabbage first

Felicity Cloake Sauerkraut 01

Sauerkraut can be made with any type of cabbage, but, in practice, it’s best with the tough, crisp varieties. I find things like collard greens and collard greens a bit limp for that purpose. White is traditional, but green or red will work here too; Like Welsh-German food writer Anja Dunk, I find the sweeter red version particularly good in a juniper berry flavored sauerkraut.

2 Shred the cabbage

Felicity Cloake Sauerkraut 02

Remove one outer leaf and set it aside, then quarter the cabbage and trim the bottom of each wedge. Rest each quarter on a flat side, finely shred cabbage into thin strips, clean outer leaves, core and all; a mandolin would come in handy here, but a food processor tends to be too violent, bruising the leaves while shredding them. , so it pays to do it by hand for the best texture.

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3 Massage the salt into the cabbage

Felicity Cloake Sauerkraut 04

Put the shredded cabbage in a very large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Give it a good stir to distribute it fairly evenly, then begin to vigorously massage the salt into the sheets with your fingertips, almost as if you were rubbing fat into flour to make a dough. Really give him some welly.

4 Then massage it some more

Felicity Cloake Sauerkraut 03

After a few minutes, the cabbage should start to weep. Continue until there is a significant amount of liquid when you press it, which should take 10-15 minutes total.

If you’re really trying and getting nowhere, you can add a little more salt, but that will of course make the end result saltier, so I’d advise patience.

5 pack in a large jar

Transfer the cabbage and the liquid it has released to a large, clean fermentation container; jars are readily available in kitchen stores and online, but you can certainly use a large mason jar, if that’s all you have. Just avoid anything made of metal, unless it’s specifically designed for that purpose. Pack cabbage side down as you push it into jar; it needs to be immersed in the liquid.

6 Add spices and/or other aromas

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At this point, add any additional flavoring: lightly crushed dried juniper berries, or yellow mustard or caraway seeds are classic choices, but you can also opt for thinly sliced ​​lemon zest, chopped dill, or other vegetables or fruits such as grated carrot, celeriac. , apple, beetroot. Regardless of what you decide to use, the cabbage should make up at least three-quarters of the final mixture.

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7 Weigh the sauerkraut

Weigh the cabbage so that it is completely covered by the liquid; most fermentation jars come with weights for this purpose, but you can use the reserved outer cabbage leaf supported by a large, clean stone or a sterilized jar filled with water and appropriately sized to fit the larger jar.

8 Cover and let ferment

Cover with lid, if using a specially designed crock, or clean tea towel (sauerkraut needs to breathe) and leave in a cool, well-ventilated place for five days to five weeks, depending on how tart you like it. he. Keep an eye on it to make sure the cabbage is still covered in liquid, and test it from time to time to check its progress.

9 Seal, then store or serve

Once the sauerkraut is sour enough to your liking, remove the weights, seal the jar, and refrigerate or store in a cool place. (If it’s suddenly too sour, rinse it under cold water before eating to soften the flavor.) Eat cold in marinade, or hot and eat as a garnish: it’s especially delicious with cold cuts or fish, or with creamy sauces.

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