The traditionalists are rather upset with me for messing with the beloved sauerkraut, but this is every Christmas flavour in a jar. It just makes sense during the holiday feasting.
1 head of red cabbage, shredded
500g fresh cranberries
zest and juice of 3 mandarins
1 lemon, zest of 1 and juice of 1/2
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
200g raw cane sugar (or coconut palm sugar)
1- 2 tbsp unrefined sea salt (1 tbsp for every 800g weight of vegetables)
1 tsp ground cinnamon or 4 cinnamon sticks
1 Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage it they are looking a bit grim. If they look good, wash them well to make sure there is to soil.
2 Shred the cabbage, cutting out the core. I like to shred it reasonably fine. Use your food processor for this if you have one.
3 Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and add the salt, giving it a quick massage through the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit. Let it sit for 30–60 minutes, until it starts to sweat. This does some of the hard work for you. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Do remember the sugar is not for you, it is for the lactic acid bacteria which will dominate the jar and they are gonna love your it! The mixture should be quite wet now.
4 Begin to fill your clean 2-litre jar or crock, taking a handful of cabbage at a time and pressing down very hard using your fist. With each handful you’ll notice a little more liquid seeping out.
5 Keep filling the jar until you have it filled to within 2.5cm of the top of the jar and the liquid is covering the cabbage completely. This provides an anaerobic environment within which fermentation can take place.
6 For successful fermentation it’s crucial to keep the cabbage submerged, so place a weight on it. Leave to sit for anything from one to six weeks. Taste it every few days to gauge the progress of the fermentation flavour. If you’re fermenting in an airtight jar, you need to ‘burp’ the jar every few days to release the build-up of carbon dioxide.
7 When you’re happy with the flavour and texture, store the jar in the fridge. The times will vary with room temperature and other factors. After a week the good bacteria are considered established and it’s good to eat, but if you want the maximum probiotics in your sauerkraut, you’ll want to let your sauerkraut ferment for up to six weeks.
NOTE: if you are concerned about all that sugar, don’t be. It is perfect food for the lactobacillus bacteria which will have a field day feeding of it and in turn create many many good bacteria for you and your tum!