I have to say when I opened today’s batch of sauerkraut, I felt pretty excited. The kind of excited I imagine some women feel when they buy an expensive purse. I get that same giddiness opening a fermentation project…man Jeremy’s lucky. 😉
This was my 7th batch of homemade fermented sauerkraut to magically ferment in our 5 liter crock which happens to turn a year old later this month. You can tell I’ve been pretty consistent with cranking out the batches. After making so many batches that revolved around cabbage, carrots, and onion, I have finally deviated from that trifecta with the last two batches. Last month I opened a straight cabbage batch and today a wonderful new blend of red cabbage, apple, onion and pickling spice. It’s been a fun and rewarding deviation from our old standard.
LOOKS – This has an almost unreal vibrant color, it is so unabashedly magenta. It looks smashing in our bold fiestaware.
TASTE – Let’s talk about taste. On our first bite we noticed that it wasn’t as salty as our previous batches. This is neither good nor bad – it just is. I purposefully left out 1-2 tablespoons because I was curious how the apple would taste and I hoped to taste more of it by cutting down on the savoriness that salt can add. I can’t say that I’ve been able to detect the apples specifically but they definitely add a subtle sweetness to the flavor. I also noticed that they released quite a bit of liquid during the ferment; more so than what I noticed when opening previous batches.
The pickling spice seems to be just right, enough to give it flavor but not dominate. I wondered how the pickling spice would turn out texture wise too. With pickles, the spices would just settle to the bottom but in a batch of sauerkraut they get caught up in the net of cabbage leaving peppercorns and pieces of hardy leaves to roam free. So far? Not an issue. I don’t think very much that you’d want to ferment for 4 weeks with cheesecloth bound spices; that just seems strange but if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments.
This batch made 6 quarts!
I finally gave in and bought a case of wide mouth quart jars because they are large, easy to fill and great for drinking water and green smoothies out of.
I used to loathe pink in high school but now if it’s like this or paired with black or skulls…I love it!
I put on my pink lipstick (which is actually red but turns pink once applied – rolls eyes) for the special occasion and that I’m trying to wear my two bold lipsticks more often. Practice. Practice. Practice. 😉
Opening Our 7th Batch of Sauerkraut
This will fill a 5 liter crock at the very edge of comfortably full.
- 4 small heads of organic red cabbage (about 7 lb), quartered and thinly sliced)
- 5 organic apples (about 2 lb) - I used 3 granny smith and 2 Tokyo Rose, core removed and shredded
- 1 large organic red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice - I used a variety made/sold in bulk by a local farm
- Follow instructions given here.
- Ferment 4-6 weeks (I went 4 weeks), keep gutter of crock filled with water to keep the air-tight seal intact.
- When it's time to open, transfer kraut and brine to lidded mason jars for storage in the fridge.
Have you been inspired to start fermenting? What have you made?