An eatnik Christmas: Ruby Kraut
The process of making sauerkraut always seemed like a bit of an effort to me, but surprisingly it is incredibly easy. Basically, veges, salt and a jar, and you’re ready to go. My dad has always loved sauerkraut, so I decided that this Christmas I’d make some homemade goods to enjoy over the festive season. Instead of the regular cabbage, I’ve opted for the red variety, which gives this beautiful ruby colour, hence the name.
Fermented foods are those that have been through the process of lactofermentation. Lactofermentation preserves foods and enhances the micronutrient profile by creating beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins and some probiotics. I did a post on it a while back, you can read it here.
For this recipe, make sure you are using well sealed jars, or a fermenting crock pot for the best results. You don’t have to limit yourself to just cabbage either; julienned carrots or daikon can be added as well. Also, bay leaves, juniper berries, dill or celery seeds work well for alternative spices.
1kg red cabbage (approx. 1 large cabbage)
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
Wash cabbage and slice thinly. In a bowl, sprinkle salt over cabbage and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Massage veges to release more water. Add spices, and ensure well combined. Place cabbage in a clean jar/s, squashing down with a rolling pin as you go. More liquid will be released. Using a leaf, cut to size to cover the top of the kraut, and make sure everything is submerged under the liquid completely. Seal, and place in a cool dry area for at least 1 week – up to a year. Once you open the sauerkraut, place it in the fridge. I like to leave mine for about a month!
Enjoy your kraut in salads, with meats or eggs or on a sandwich.