Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sauerkraut

Two weeks ago I brought home 2 heads of cabbage from the farm share.  I had been thinking about trying to make sauerkraut and, if it worked, I might try kimchee in the future.  (I love kimchee.  It's probably my favorite part of Korean cuisine.)  But fermentation always seemed a little scary to me.  I know, I made fermented pickles before, and beer, but still it is intimidating.  This, however, went off without a hitch.

I used the recipe for "Wine Kraut" in The Joy of Pickling and a total of 3 pounds of cabbage.  I also left out the caraway seeds since I don't like them.  The entire recipe, therefore, was cabbage, salt, and white wine.  And it's been just doing its thing for 2 weeks, with no issues about scum or mold or any of the other potential pitfalls.

Halfway through the fermentation process, a Russian friend had a taste and proclaimed it very good.  That's reassuring, he has experience with fermenting food and knows what he's talking about.  He noted that basically, it's just a way of dealing with your food going bad, as in, "It's... fermented!  Yeah, that's it.  It's still good."

Today I processed it in the boiling water canner:  6 half-pint jars for 20 minutes and then I let them rest for 5 in the canner before I removed them.  There was a little leftover which I had for a snack.  I've never been much of a fan of store-bought sauerkraut.  This was light-years away.  Fabulous!

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