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Video: Sauerkraut. Step-by-step Recipe With Photo
Mid-autumn - it's time to ferment cabbage. Cool October smells of leaves, haze of autumn bonfires and mouth-watering, crispy, vitamin-rich sauerkraut. Let now, at any time of the year, you can buy fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, and supermarkets sell overseas fruits and salads in Korean - they will not replace simple, but such healthy sauerkraut! It is she who is the leader of the winter menu in terms of vitamin C content, which is unlikely to remain in the "plastic" winter fruits or in the freezer reserves. And now you will find out how to cook this.
Did you know that even the princes in the days of Kievan Rus allocated special plots in their gardens - skits, especially for growing cabbage for pickling? And they did the right thing - after all, besides ascorbic acid for strong immunity, sauerkraut supplies the body with iron - for hemoglobin, potassium - for the heart, magnesium - for strong nerves!
Sauerkraut is good not only in itself - in the form of an appetizing salad with fragrant sunflower oil. It is also a delicious ingredient for many dishes: with it you can stew meat, cook borscht, cook vinaigrette, strudels, pies, dumplings!
Ingredients for Sauerkraut
For 1 large head of cabbage - 1 large carrot. Cabbage is almost always fermented with carrots, which add crunch and flavor.
For a 3-liter container - about 1.5-2 tablespoons of salt and 0.5 cups of sugar.
Only coarse, rocky salt is suitable for pickling, and certainly not iodized! Iodized salt makes cabbage, like pickles, soft, so use regular table salt.
How to choose cabbage for pickling
The taste of cabbage is influenced not only by the recipe, but also by many other factors: the variety, quality and even the time when the cabbage was cut.
The best cabbage for fermentation in the fall is of medium late varieties ("Glory", "Gift"), which are cut in early October. Late ones are better suited for fresh storage or for the "second call" - fermentation of cabbage for the New Year.
Do not hesitate to take a good look at the market and even touch the cabbage! We need the whitest and most dense head of cabbage. It is from these that sauerkraut turns out to be delicious, crispy. When you press the head of cabbage, you hear a crunching sound, is it elastic, juicy, not loose? What you need!
Also make sure the cabbage is not frozen or rotten. If you peel and ferment spoiled cabbage - instead of sauerkraut, there is a risk of getting rotten. And if the upper leaves have already been peeled off by someone before you, it is quite possible that the cabbage was frozen. Better to choose untouched cabbage and remove the top layer of leaves yourself - they will be useful to us.
Which container to choose?
You can ferment cabbage in glass, wooden, enameled containers.
And in plastic and metal - aluminum, stainless - it is impossible!
Usually cabbage is fermented in jars, sometimes in barrels, but you can also in a saucepan. The main thing is that the enamel is intact.
Method for preparing sauerkraut
There are two ways to harvest cabbage: dry and wet. In the first case, the cabbage is ground with salt, in the second, it is poured with brine, warm or cold. I cook in the second way.
Rinse the cabbage and remove 2-3 top leaves, do not throw them away.
Peel and wash the carrots.
Chop the cabbage with a knife or shredder. We try to chop not thickly, but it is not worth too thin, so that the cabbage turns out not to be soft, but crispy.
Grate the carrots on a coarse grater. By the way, grated carrots give sauerkraut a subtle pinkish-orange hue. And if you cut the carrot into thin strips, then the cabbage will remain white.
Prepare the brine by dissolving the salt in warm water.
Mix the cabbage with carrots and tamp it tightly into a fermenting dish (in this case, a saucepan), fill it with warm brine and add cold water to the top of the container.
Cover with cabbage leaves and put oppression on top. Metal objects are not suitable. You can use a heavy stone (cleanly washed!), Or a wooden plank, or a glass mold lid, and put something heavy on top. For example, a can with conservation. And under the container with cabbage, you need to put a bowl so that the brine is poured there during the fermentation process.
We put the cabbage in a warm place for 2 days. Do not forget to sometimes pierce the workpiece with a wooden stick to its full height so that gases that form during fermentation come out and can give the cabbage a bitter taste.
After 2 days, dissolve the sugar in a small amount of brine and pour into the cabbage. We are waiting for another day - and delicious, crispy sauerkraut will be ready!
For taste and color
Above is one of the basic recipes for pickling cabbage, which can be varied with all kinds of additives to your taste.
If, in addition to carrots, add beets, the cabbage will acquire an original taste and a beautiful pink hue. You can put some pickles or mushrooms; add sour fruits or berries - apples, plums; very tasty and original with cranberries.
In addition to salt and sugar, you can ferment cabbage with other spices: black or allspice, cloves, bay leaves. How many housewives - so many variations.
Ferment your cabbage and share the recipe with us!