Sauerkraut is a very healthy dish. It is not only used in its pure form, but also used as a component of salads and casseroles, soups, pies. In Russia, cabbage was leavened in wooden barrels, because it was cooked for a large family and for future use, and today it is more often done in ordinary glass jars, especially since it is impossible to store a huge barrel in an ordinary city apartment. What principles should be followed when starting sauerkraut, and how to keep it crispy and sweet?
How to make sauerkraut in a jar?
Most often for this process they use a can of 3 liters: this choice is also determined by the size of the head (even the smallest after shredding can feed the whole family for several days), and the fact that these dishes are cooked “in reserve”, making a small portion is unwise. Therefore, below is a recipe for sauerkraut based on a 3-liter jar with standard proportions, but a little later it will be told how to prepare a smaller volume of the dish.
- White cabbage - 3 kg
- Carrots - 2 pcs.
- Sugar - 2 tbsp.
- Salt large - 1 tbsp.
- After you remove the cob, the weight of the head will be significantly reduced, so do not worry: it will completely go into the prepared container. If you acquire (or weigh) a head of cabbage initially without a stalk, be guided by the figures of 2.5 kg - this should be the net weight of the leaves.
- Wash the head well, remove the top layer and shred it as small as possible: you should have a very thin straw, the length of which will not exceed 4-5 cm. The thinner it is, the better it will be prepared, there will be no dense wet areas.
- Now wash and remove the skin from the carrot, rub it on the shallow side of the grater, to get an almost uniform mass. It is not recommended to use the large side, because then the plates of carrots will be larger than cabbage straws in size, which will negatively affect the taste of the finished dish.
- Mix cabbage and carrot slides: this can be done both in a large (very large) bowl and on a wooden cutting board. Sprinkle with sugar, again crush all the products with your hands, distributing the grains between them, leave for 5-10 minutes. After that, add some salt and hands again mix the ingredients, as if working with dough. Professionals advise not to use iodized salt, so as not to kill the taste of cabbage.
- Put the whole cabbage-carrot mass in a jar, after each new portion, using a tolkushka or any suitable object for this purpose: the juice will be released in the process. The bank should remain a little free space on top, which is convenient for the processes that will occur at the time of fermentation.
The fermentation process will begin within a few hours, and over the next 3 days, during which the active stage falls, the closed can should be kept warm (indoors) and then transferred to the refrigerator. After 1.5-2 weeks, when the liquid on the surface becomes transparent, the finished cabbage can be served at the table.
Principles of pickling cabbage in brine
As you can see, in the previous recipe, the only liquid present in the jar was cabbage-carrot juice, which was released at the time of ramming. Thus, the dish turned out quite dry, suitable for use in baking or in salads. But if you like pickle and you want it to be as much as possible, you should take care of it in advance. For this recipe, it is recommended to use 2 cans of 2 liters.
- Head of cabbage - 2.5 kg
- Carrots - 1 pc.
- Frozen cranberries - 2 tsp.
- Savory apples - 200 g
- Cold water - 3 l
- Sugar - 3 tbsp.
- Salt - 4 tbsp.
- At the starting stage, you will need to pay attention to the brine: pour water into the pan, bring to a boil, salt (2 tablespoons) and add sugar (1 tablespoons) to it, immediately remove from heat as soon as the grains dissolve. Pour into prepared cans - 1.5 l each, so that the upper part remains empty. Throw in cranberries: 1 tsp. on the jar.
- While the water cools, wash the cabbage head, strip the stalk and green upper leaves, chop very thinly. Do the same for carrots: wash, peel and grate. Apples deprive the skin and core, cut into plates with a thickness of 2 mm. Mix all the ingredients together, without disturbing their appearance: the apples should remain in the form of large plates.
- When the water has cooled to room temperature (34-36 degrees) temperature, spread the vegetable mixture in banks. Do not tamp - just squeeze a little hand to leave space at the top. Cover with lids, put the jars in the big basin, where the excess brine will go.
The duration of fermentation remains unchanged: after 2-3 days in a warm room the container must be removed in the cold, where the dish will reach to readiness. Periodically check the cabbage, removing the foam from its surface and piercing with wooden skewers to release carbon dioxide.
Peculiarities of homemade sour cabbage
The taste of food is influenced not only by your actions in the process, but also by the choice of product. Professionals assure that if the cabbage was originally very bitter, fermentation will not change its properties, and it will remain just as bitter. Therefore, be sure to try the sheet before mixing it with the rest of the ingredients. It is best to choose varieties with a white sheet, on which there are no large veins.
What else you need to remember:
- If you sour cabbage with pickle, never pour hot water on it: this will not allow bacteria that stimulate ferment to develop - cabbage will simply rot in the jar.
- The liquid that flows from the jar into the container under it can be collected with a spoon and poured back. However, this is allowed only for the rule "1 bank - 1 basin". Mixing brine from different cans, even with the same technology of fermentation is not recommended.
- To make the shredded cabbage crisp and after souring, make sure that it is not frozen, and also do not overdo it with the amount of carrots. In addition, cabbage cooked in its own juice always turns out to be more crisp than that which was filled with water.
- If desired, you can add cumin, horseradish, celery, anise, vinegar, black pepper peas, vegetable oil. Proportions are usually taken by eye, but all of these components are additional and should only shade the bright taste of the cabbage leaf.
- If it happens that mold spores began to appear on the surface, remove the top layer, rinse the next one, and change the cap.
After the sour cabbage tea is ready, transparent juice will tell you what to do, it should be closed with tight plastic lids that prevent air from entering. Such a dish can be stored for several months in any cold place.