This is the kind of food I love and lean towards for a Saturday night on the sofa with a movie or a binge session of our latest Netflix fad. In fact, there’s an idea for a series, Saturday Sofa Food (Note to self to hold that thought.)
The rules are; it needs to be colourful, it needs to be tangy or spicy and its handy if you can build your own and scoop up in a flat bread or something similar.
Sauerkraut is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. Either way fermented food has lots of health benefits. If you choose unpasteurised sauerkraut its full of the good bacteria that your tummy can rejoice in. So it helps us build our immune system and fight infections. As well as being a great way to preserve food for dipping into when the whim takes you and using up leftovers. To balance out the sourness of it I add orange, tried and tested on a Sauerkraut hating chum it seemed to do the trick.
I had been musing on making some for ages and finally tried it out when I had 3/4 of a cabbage leftover after a cabbage pickle that I made for another Saturday Night Sofa Feast. In my opinion red cabbage is definitely prettier.
As usual I looked around for methods and then concocted my own to fit in with what I had available and my lifestyle. It’s an easy thing to tweek to make it work for you, though it will take an evening to get it going.
For the Sauerkraut
1 red cabbage
1 tbsp good quality salt (I use Maldon)
1/2 tbsp caraway seeds (My mum always used to put caraway seeds in when she steamed cabbage she claimed it dissipated the cabbage smell.)
2 sandwich bags
1 elastic band
For the Salad
1/2 red onion
For the sauerkraut
1. Chop the cabbage as finely as you can and mix with the salt, cover and let it sit for an hour until liquid begins to wick out of the cabbage
2. Mix through the caraway seeds and place it into a large jar with an airtight seal
3. Press into the cabbage, I used a tin of tomatoes wrapped in a muslin to press hard on to push the cabbage down and encourage the liquid out of the leaves
4. Leave it with the weight on top and press down every so often till you have enough liquid to cover the top of the cabbage
5. When you have the cabbage covered put one sandwich bag inside the other and place in the top of the jar on top of the cabbage
6. Fill the inner sandwich bag with water, being careful that non leaks into the cabbage, so that the water fills the space at the top of the jar. Tie as tight as you can and press down and close the jar. This is an inspired idea and stops any air getting in
7. Leave in a dark place for about 21 days