Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Yesterday was a day of starts. I started batches of salami, salt pork, pancetta, bresaola and sauerkraut. The batch of sauerkraut I began was a small one, made from eight humongous heads of cabbage from the garden of the parents of Trent Hendricks. In a few weeks when the cabbage at the farm is ready, it's going to be pedal to the metal shredding.

The hardest part of making sauerkraut is cleaning (which in the case of this no-pesticide stuff means picking out worms and slugs) and shredding the cabbage. The rest is easy:

Salt it at a rate of 0.02 (or 2g salt per 100g cabbage or 2oz salt per 100 oz cabbage etc.); place the cabbage in a non-reactive vessel; put a weighted non-reactive plate on top so that the cabbage gets pressed under the juice that is released via osmosis (It is important for the cabbage to be submerged to assure an anaerobic environment for fermentation; put the vessel in a cool place (like any where that I am baby) and wait.


Scotty said...

That is weird! Just before I went on you blog, I went down to see how my kraut was doing. I did a brine cure, rather than a straight salt cure (it's my first time - be gentle). The flavor was amazing. Not vinegary or overpowering, and still tasting of cabbage.

It reminded me of my grandmothers Dill's!

Natalie Sztern said...

I would love a hungarian sauerkraut recipe...sweeter rather than sour...what taste is this bob?

Bob del Grosso said...

It is basal sauerkraut. The only sugar is from the cabbage itself. So think "sour cabbage" and you have the flavor profile.

Mike Pardus said...

Kim Chi is the same process and I've been playing around with that for a while. Interestingly, you can put fish, shell fish, and even poultry into the vat to ferment and preserve with the vegetables. Just yesterday I put down a batch of Well Fleet Oyster Kimchi, wrapping the shucked oysters in the salted/seasoned cabbage leaves before pressing them to ferment. A few weeks ago we stuffed the cavity of a fresh pompano with the seasoned cabbage, trussed it to hold it closed, and let it cure in the refrigerator for 3 weeks - it came out tasting like Korean Grav Lax. Besides the obvious seasoning difference ( Korean chili powder, ginger, galic, daikon), the only major deviation from the European technique is the addition of a "rice porridge"... rice flour mixed with water (like a slurry) and cooked to gel the starch. Mixing this in with the ferment adds a depth of flavor that otherwise does not occur (I'm guessing it's from the glutamates released from the rice protein).
Anyway - it's fun and easy - just a bit smelly to the western nose.

Natalie Sztern said...

thx get it

bob mcgee said...

The pompano sounds friggin awesome, and there's nothing I enjoy more, than the flavor of oysters and kimchee together. When I still lived in the NW, it was great to get those sweet little Olympia oysters together with bechu kimchee in a jeun.- heaven!

are you a fan of caraway or juniper berry in that style of