It’s cold outside, snow is falling, a large pot of soup is simmering on the stove, and i’m dreaming of sauerkraut. Wait, what? Yes, you
heard read me right. This time of year, my parents crack open their sauerkraut clay pot and the family comes together to enjoy the hard work of the lacto-fermentation of my parents’ cabbages. Come and cook with us!
Whether it’s sauerkraut, kimchi or miso, there are so many food preservation methods that ancient cultures have created to ensure that fresh produce can be enjoyed long past its harvest. Turning cabbages into sauerkraut is one of them. We’ve talked about making the quick home version before, but my parent’s way is the real one using heavy clay pots that are left in a cold place for at least six weeks but up to a few months. Once the pot is opened, it’s easy for bacteria to slip in, so everything has to be done “just-so” to make sure the kraut continues to hold up.
We eat sauerkraut in many ways. My absolute favorite one is a simple raw salad, which this time of year is on the table more than once per week. Take a packed cup of kraut, mix it with one tablespoon each of minced onion and good quality olive oil. Voilà! Believe me, it tastes like butter! We sometimes add shredded kale, grated carrots and diced avocado. If the taste of raw sauerkraut is too intensive, braised sauerkraut is the way to go. It provides the perfect foundation for sausages, braised pork shoulder or ribs. Give the sauerkraut a try and let me know if you prefer it raw or braised. Come and cook with us!