After a week or more of social distancing it seems I am moving at an even slower pace. We had finished making this third type of sauerkraut days ago and now I am finally posting part 3 of 3.
We made 2 jars of Beet Red Cabbage sauerkraut. We used the same method as for the other 2 sauerkraut recipes, but this one requires a bit more caution with cleanup and prep as EVERYTHING will get stained PURPLE! Just protect your clothes and countertops, and cleanup as soon as a spill happens. We had been watching assorted cooking videos on Youtube and liked this particular one from Caitlin Shoemaker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psjasIbndnA.
Beet Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe Ingredients:
We made 3 times the recipe and filled 2 jars.
1/4 large red cabbage
1 large beet.
1/2 tbsp non-iodized salt (we used kosher salt, but you can use sea salt or whatever you prefer)
Beet Red Cabbage Sauerkraut Recipe Method:
Sterilize clean mason jars by boiling them in a canning pot or just a large spaghetti pot – I did mine for about 10 minutes to kill any other bacteria before getting started with the kraut. It’s an extra step, but no big deal – so why not? We used recycled glass mason jars from that pasta sauce we’re always using!
Shred cabbage and grate beets using mandolin or cheese grater.
Mix beets, cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Massage the ingredients together for about 5 minutes. Set aside for about 1/2 hour and then massage again.
Add the salt. Massage the cabbage and beets vigorously with your hands (or if you prefer assorted squishing tools) for about 5 minutes until it releases some juices. Set it aside for a 1/2 hour. The cabbage releases liquid with the addition of the salt and with the “squeezing” action. After 1/2 hour, work the cabbage mixture again. Ladle the mixture into clean (sterilized) jars. Pack it down – (we used a rounded ice cream scoop to pack down) – so that the cabbage mixture is at the bottom with the liquid rising to cover the surface of the cabbage/beets.
We used 2 sterilized jars for 3/4 red cabbage and 3 beets (3 times recipe) filled to about 2/3 full. It’s important to have all of the cabbage below the liquid.
In the event that your cabbage is not releasing enough liquid, you can make a brine – mix 1 cup of water to 1/2 tsp non-iodized salt. If you are making a lot of sauerkraut like we were, just mix this up and have it nearby – just in case! Dissolve the salt by giving it a whisk. If the cabbage sits above the liquid – just pour a little brine over the top until the cabbage is submerged.
The next step is to make sure the mixture is not exposed to air while it is fermenting. We washed Ziploc sandwich bags and filled to about 2 fingers in depth with tap water. We then gently squeezed the water filled bags into the top of the jar without spilling the water into the jar. The water in the bag, once in the jar spreads over the surface of the cabbage. Then we pulled back the opening of the bag and lightly screwed on a jar lid. This seals the cabbage under the baggie from the air!
Before you set the jars aside – place them on a tray or plate with a bit of a lip to it – when the fermenting occurs, some of the liquid may bubble over the edge of the jar – you don’t want to ruin your tabletop! Don’t worry about the spillage – just clean up and rearrange the bags and lids. Be extra careful with the beet juice – this is the one recipe that overflowed for us – and the liquid is purple – so watch out.
Place the sauerkraut jars in a cool dark location for a minimum of 7 days. Sample for texture and flavour. If you feel that they are ready, set aside the water bags, seal the jar lids and refrigerate. If you feel that they could ferment for a little longer, refit the water bags and lids and set aside for a few more days. After two weeks, (the jars had been covered by a cloth to keep sunlight out) – we felt the sauerkraut was just right – so we removed the bags, screwed on the lids and put in the refrigerator.