My lovely husband bought me a very cool fermentation pot for Christmas something I didn’t asked for but I was extremely excited to receive! I was scared at first as I have never fermented anything but after a little bit of research and over ordering of red cabbage I decided to take the plunge and make some Red Cabbage Sauerkraut.
I found this recipe on www.fermentationrecipes.com an awesome site with everything you need to know about fermentation – you can pretty much ferment anything! We should all be eating more fermented foods as they are extremely good for our gut. I was delighted with my first batch, it tastes delicious and the boys are humoring me by eating it, although very small amounts of it – it’s a little too strong and tart for them, but at least they are trying it! You don’t need a fancy fermenting pot, a Kilner or jam jars will do just as well – have a go, you’ll be surprised how easy is it – Eat with everything!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 10-21 days (some leave it to ferment for up to 6 weeks)
Yield: 2 litres
2 heads red cabbage
1 ½ tbsp juniper berries
1tbsp caraway seeds
Begin by removing the outer leaves of the cabbage it they are looking a little sketchy. If they look fine, you should at least wash them off a little to remove potential contaminants.
Chop the cabbage. I prefer to cut it in fat ribbons about 3/8 – 1/2″ wide. No need to grate it.
In a large bowl, toss the sliced cabbage with the salt and let sit for 30-60 minutes until it starts to sweat.
Mix in the juniper berries and caraway seeds and place everything including any liquid at the bottom of the bowl into a fermenting vessel. I prefer using a 1 gallon glass cookie jar.
Press down very hard using your fists or other implement. You’ll notice that you can squeeze out a little liquid, which will pool at the bottom. After you tire of compressing it, place something with some weight on top of the cabbage to effectively continue pressuring the cabbage while you are resting. The salt will help to leach liquid from the cabbage.
Compress with your fist a few more times over the next hour or two and try to get the liquid level up higher. Your goal is to have the liquid cover the cabbage completely to provide an anaerobic environment within which the fermentation can take place.
If, after several hours or overnight, you can’t get the liquid level high enough, add some water to cover by at least 1″. Stir well to equalize the salinity level.
Place the weight on it and a lid, making sure no oxygen gets into it, therefore avoiding potential contamination.
Cover with a clean towel and let it sit for 2-3 weeks. Feel free to taste it every few days to gauge the progress of the fermentation flavor.
Once it gets a nice tangy flavor, place it in the refrigerator. I prefer to place in mason jars first so they are ready to hand over as gifts as desired. The fermentation should take about 10 days or so but that will vary with room temperature and other factors.