ANCIENT KITCHEN ART II

"CA-BARGE" ! here 's the sour :
Adventures in sauerkraut

Original  Homemade Sauerkraut or TILBY’S CA-BARGE

Whilst working in Russia and Czekoslovakia (as it was), sauerkraut was often the veg’ on offer.  Being familiar with  pale, pickled, jarred variety from our UK supermarkets I wasn’t keen. But now, Eureka ! I am the owner of a large, handsome CROCK POT and I am raving about cabbage.

“CA– BARGE !”   

delicious delectable sauerkraut

delicious delectable sauerkraut

My crock jar has a lipped rim which is like moat and facilitates an airlock while the Ca-barge ferments.

Maybe 4 or 5 chopped, cored cabbages will break down in a single crock pot. Use organic or natural sea salt.

Spice with any or all of the following:  Juniper berries, dill, peppercorns, garlic, coriander, fennel seeds, jalapeno peppers… there are many recipe variations if you feel adventurous.

You can dice with any of the following  -  red cabbage, celery, onion and apple.  I use 3 cabbages finely sliced and shredded by my food processor. Add 3 table spoons of sea salt ( so 1 tablespoon per cabbage)

In a large, strong bowl pound the cabbage with wooden spoon, end of rolling pin, pestle or break up with hands. ( The crock is the wrong shape and could break )

This process breaks down the cabbage which releases water and brine so the cabbage becomes limp and sweats. The cabbage needs to be covered in the brine. It can take about 20 minutes of working out.

Transfer the mixture to the crock, add the spices in layers or mix all together. Layer the larger outer cabbage leaves on the top of your pulp and then weight with the stones ( these come with the Crock pot. Press them down. Place the lid on top of the jar, with water in the channel which will form the airlock.  Leave to stand on the worktop at room temperature ( not in a fridge )

Every day check, stir, remove and discard any scum that has formed. During fermentation, gas bubbles will form. When bubbling ceases, fermentation is complete. Fermentation may take up to 6 weeks.

Then jar or can in squeaky clean vessels and refrigerate.

ANOTHER RECIPE suggests these proportions : 25 lbs white cabbage, outer leaves discarded, cored and quartered (about 5 large heads)  to 1 cup salt using 32 oz preserving jars with lids and bands.... I prefer the CROCKPOT for the airlock.

Sauerkraut is a great source of probiotics, provided it’s not been heat Pasteurized. These beneficial bacteria are one way to support a healthy gut.

Canned or jarred sauerkraut  - not  kept refrigerated means  pasteurized and heated which kills the beneficial bacteria.

Homemade Sauerkraut: The Method   Essentially, sauerkraut is cabbage mixed with salt which is allowed to ferment at room temperature over the course of time. Within that time, bacteria (Lactobacilli) begin to ferment the carbohydrates in the cabbage in an anaerobic, non-oxygen environment. They help lower (acidify) the pH which prevents the growth of unwanted bacterial spores. The brine (salty water) assists in this as well.

Problems ? http://www.foodrenegade.com/3-biggest-fermenting-mistakes-youre-already-making/

Great websites: http://nourishedkitchen.com/homemade-sauerkraut/ &  http://fermentationrecipes.com/

(May I add that this is not like the stuff that you buy in the shops)

 

Mixed media designer and artist, Tilby is an experienced production set and costume designer for film, tv, film theatre and opera.