Sunday, January 31, 2010
Living in Wisconsin, one has a great amount of exposure to sauerkraut and sausage. Some of it sublime, and some not so much. I happen to love sauerkraut but am often disappointed with the quality of the store bought stuff. The same goes with sausage. So this week I am going to make both of them! The kraut is the easy part. The recipe couldn't be more simple. Five pounds of shredded cabbage and 3 Tbs. of kosher salt. Toss them together and pack the cabbage into a ceramic crock (like the antique one pictured). I then place a plate on top of that and weight it down with a jar filled with water. I then cover the crock with thick plastic held down with a rubber band. My cellar temperature is about 45-50 F during the winter which is perfect for this type of fermentation. I would expect the kraut to be ready anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks from today. Make sure everything is as sterile as possible, including your hands. The fermentation process creates lactic acid which is what preserves the cabbage, and develops the acidic sour flavor profile. Sauerkraut is very rich in vitamin C, and has been considered by many cultures as a great anti-oxidant, anti-cancer food source. Tomorrow I start with another fermentation featuring what I am going to call "Frankenkraut". Three kinds of cabbage, hot red chili, daikon radish, carrot, and scallion. Almost a form of the Korean Kim-Chi. As we move into the growing season, fermentation will be a common way of extending my shelf life of the foods we grow. Nothing like a little "Frankenkraut" to warm your ass up in the dead of winter. Right now for instance its -5 F at our farm! So this week, organic lamb sausage, frankenkraut, tamales, and home baked organic baguettes! Life seldom sucks in my kitchen!