Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Pickled pink?"

There were a few cabbages in the garden that were ready for the picking and the bugs were beating me in the race to eat them. I harvested them over the weekend and wanted to try pickling some, similar to sauerkraut but without all that time spent lacto-fermenting. This is something I would love to try one day, but for various reasons the timing isn't right for me right now. So. A cheats sauerkraut? Something that can still be drained and fried up with a little onion and bacon and lots of black pepper for hearty winter side-dishes to go with roast pork? Yes! That was what I was after. I trawled through the recipes online and in my cookbooks and was baffled why they all suggested pickling only red cabbage. What about all of their green and white cousins? I had plenty of these guys to use up. In the end, still a little confused, I just went ahead and pickled them anyway...

I used about 2kg of cabbage, which was shredded and soaked in brine in the fridge overnight. The next day it was rinsed well and dried with the help of my salad spinner. It was then packed into jars and covered with the pickling liquid which was comprised of the following:

1 litre of white vinegar (since I had some lovely white wine vinegar in the pantry, I finished this off and made up the rest with regular white vinegar).
1 tbs pickling spice
2 bay leaves
2 tbs sugar

I had to make up two batches of this liquid, as I ran out half way through. The vinegar was brought to a boil with the spices. It was then left to cool down a little and to let the spices infuse. I poured the strained liquid over the cabbage, removing as many air bubbles as I could with a chopstick. The lids were fitted and the jars were processed in the fowlers vacola preserver according to the directions.

The jars all sealed, although the next day I notice they have taken on a 'pinkish hue' (a little hard to see in the pic, but it's there, trust me!). Is this why red cabbage seems to out-pickle the others? My salt that was used in the brine was cooking salt...probably a little error, as it contained an anti-caking agent, but in my defense these cabbages were fast becoming bug food and I was not going to sacrafice my (rather pricey) Celtic Sea Salt that I like to save for breadmaking, on this little experimental batch of pickled cabbage. The colour doesn't bother me, it's actually kind of amusing...

The pickled pink cabbage

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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