Two of my very favourite things in the whole world! Fermented foods and London dance music. I find that my recipes taste better when I play them music while I’m making them, no joke. Everything is frequency: the vibrations of the music affect the vibrations of the food.
This sauerkraut will taste good whatever you play while you are making it, and this mix will sound good whatever you do while you are listening to it; but put the two together and you might just find yourself in bruk bliss.
Cabbage & Beet Sauerkraut
Takes 15 mins & at least a week to ferment
Makes approx. 16 servings of kraut
Notes: You will need a 2 litre Kilner jar, a large bowl & a pair of disposable gloves
1 red cabbage (approx. 1 kg)
50g root ginger
2 tbsp salt
Sauerkraut making is not as tricky as it first appears, trust me. Start by removing the outer leaves of your cabbage and putting them to one side, you’re going to need them later. Chop the big hard stalk off the end of the cabbage and reserve that as well. Then, grate your cabbage; it doesn’t matter to the process if you fine grate or keep it chunky, as long as it’s uniform. Grate the ginger at the same time as the cabbage: you need to do it by hand or preferably in a food processor with a grating blade. Peel the beets, and grate the beets. Put the cabbage, beets and ginger in the bowl with the salt – yes, I know it seems like a lot, but you really do need that much.
Now you’re going to massage it really well. This part will take a good 10-15 minutes. Use your gloves, unless you want to look like you murdered someone for the next day or so. At first, it seems like it’s not doing anything. But after a while, it will begin to go squelchy as the action of the salt breaks down the fibre in the cabbage, and releases the juices. You have to be really firm with it, squeeze it really hard. You can tell when it’s ready, it changes in texture and becomes soft and swimming in juice, and it’ll look about half the size it did when you started.
When you’re ready, sterilize your kilner jar – the easiest way to do this is to pour boiling water over it. This step is essential or you will end up with moldy kraut. Let it cool for a minute, and then pack your cabbage mixture into the jar. Press it down firmly. You want to leave just a 3-5cm (1-2”) gap at the top of the jar to prevent spillage as it ferments. You don’t want too big a gap though. It’s better to pack a smaller jar and have it full, than underfill a larger jar. If you have some that won’t fit in the jar, I usually sterilize jam jars, pack it into those, and give it to friends as gifts. You need to make sure that the cabbage is submerged fully in the juice or it will spoil. Take the cabbage leaves that you set aside earlier, and lie them on top to keep the cabbage pressed down. Wedge the stalk on top like a doorstop, to keep the kraut pushed right down.
Seal the lid, and leave at room temperature for at least 2 wks. I would stand it on a plate, so you don’t get any beet blood on your surfaces. You want to burp the jar once a day for the first three days or so: you should get a little champagne fizz when you open it. The longer you leave it, the more fermented it will be. Two to four weeks is ideal. When you don’t want it to ferment more, transfer it to the fridge, where it should keep indefinitely.