Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homemade sauerkraut.

Fermentation has been used for centuries to preseve food.  Germanic tribes figured out how to ferment cabbage...one of the peasant foods.  Here's my try at it.

Here are the ingredients and the 'crock' to ferment in.  You can use any glass, ceramic or food grade plastic pail.  Avoid stainless because it may become etched by the fermantation process.
Cabbage, Salt and Spices.  Pretty simple.

Here's the recipe:  http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=sauerkraut

It's actually a two to four week process, but well worth it and the stranges odors that it creates. Here are some images from the process.

This is one my favorite tools, a madoline. 

This is a fancy one, but there are many resonable models.  Very dangerous!  The blades are as sharp or sharper than a chef's knife.  You adjust the knife to the desired width of the cabbage and you get perfectly sized cabbage shreds everytime.  Makes short work of the cabbage.

Here's an example of the output.  If you look closely, you'll see a fork stuck in the cabbage. I never directly hold the product on the mandoline.  There is a saftey handle for it.

You put the shredded cabbage in the crock or jar and keep pressing it down every couple of inches. It helps to start the salt extract water from the cabbage.

I decided to try some spices this time.  Caraway seeds and Juniper berries

Viola!  Here's the final setup.  The bowl and jar of water are there to make sure the cabbage stays underwater.  I'll check it in the morning and then every couple of days.

Happy eating!

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