Cabbage is a much-maligned vegetable, for some reason, and people either love it or hate it. Personally, I fall in to the former category, and I also happen to love pickled vegetables. Pickled Onions, Pickled Gherkins… if you chuck it in a pickle or preserve it in some way, you can guarantee I’ll love it. So it comes as no surprise that I love Sauerkraut which, while it isn’t technically a pickled vegetable, it does have that same sour flavour that you would get from a pickling.
Sauerkraut is actually finely chopped cabbage that has been fermented for weeks in a combination of water, sugar, salt and vinegar. It has it’s roots in Eastern Europe and Germany and it literally means “sour herb” or “sour cabbage”, though it has become a staple of the Reuben Sandwich that is famous in the USA.
Making your own Sauerkraut is extremely easy to do, but it does take a long time, however it will last for ages. All you need is a few simple ingredients, and it could be the gateway into making your own preserves.
- 1 Large Cabbage
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp White Wine or Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Juniper Berries, crushed
- 1 tsp Peppercorns
- Boiling Water
- 1 litre Sealable Jar
Chop the cabbage in half, and then cut it into long, fine strips. Don't dice the cabbage.
Pack the cabbage into your jar as tightly as you can, I would recommend a 1l kilner jar.
Add the salt, sugar, vinegar, juniper berries and peppercorns onto the top of the cabbage.
Pour the water over the cabbage until it's completely covered. Use the end of a long spoon to press the cabbage down and make sure that the water has got in between all of it.
Seal the jar, leave to cool, and place in a cool, dark cupboard for at least a month to ferment. If you see any of the cabbage going a dark brown at the top of the jar, be sure to remove it. If too much is going brown, then throw it away and start again.