Night-pickling before Christmas.
December 23, 2010 2:44 AM   Subscribe

Some kind of sauerkraut in 24 hours?

I want to make some sauerkraut to have with our christmas goodness - the catch: it's just about Christmas eve here in Australia. My google-fu is being polluted by regular sauerkraut recipes. Beloved mefites, gift me your instant, or near-instant sauerkraut recipes if you have any? Thank you! (PS, please assume I understand that true sauerkraut is fermented, and what I will be making will not be real sauerkraut, but a delicious alternative).
posted by smoke to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I am making red cabbage: chop up a red cabbage, add a chopped apple, a cup of red wine, a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, a couple of tablespoons of vinegar, and some cloves. Simmer until the cabbage and apple is soft and much condensed.

The vinegar adds the sauerkrauty flavour, and the colour is very Christmassy.
posted by lollusc at 2:48 AM on December 23, 2010 [8 favorites]

Please excuse me for interrupting, but how many cloves roughly, lollusc? 2? 10? I'm not a regular clove-user but this sounds spectacular, the thought of it is making my mouth water: it's gluten-free so I can eat it, I get given red wine by the carton, and I desperately want to make this tomorrow (to take on a camping trip, long story) and not stuff it up.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 3:41 AM on December 23, 2010

Best answer: Cloves are a to-taste kind of spice, malibustacey. A lot of people find them overwhelming, and others love them. If you're not used to cooking with them, use less than you might think. Also, put them in whole, and then pick them out (it's not too fun to bite into a whole clove). If you love them, crush them up. I make that sort of red cabbage thing fairly often (though my version omits the brown sugar and substitutes honey, and uses half apple cider vinegar, half white vinegar) and I put in maybe eight crushed cloves for half a largish head of cabbage?

As for sauerkraut, maybe a braised cabbage, with juniper berries and caraway seeds? It would be fun and Christmassy to do one head of green, and one head of red cabbage, shredded and sauteed together in vinegar, butter, some brown sugar or honey to cut the acid, a couple tablespoons of caraway seeds, chopped juniper berries if you can find them, and a good amount of salt for that sauerkraut tang. I don't know of any way to reliably replicate that fermented flavor, so it might be best to just get the ingredient components down instead.
posted by Mizu at 4:02 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Depends how clovey you like it. I use about six cloves to one medium cabbage, and the flavour is quite subtle. It's pretty much impossible to stuff this recipe up :)
posted by lollusc at 4:02 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Alternatively, Aldi pretty much always has canned sauerkraut (as does Superbarn sometimes in the weird-ass random things aisle), so if you really want the green cabbage true-sauerkraut flavour, look there.
posted by lollusc at 4:05 AM on December 23, 2010

Thanks, Mizu and lollusc (and smoke, for asking). I won't go near Aldi's, it's been carpark-bingle-chaos since the school holidays started but I like the idea of making my own half-arsed version at home. And I can buy canned sauerkraut at Coles and Woolies, but again... I'd rather make the half-arsed version at home than battle the crowds.

Sorry for interrupting, smoke, but lollusc's recipe made me drool.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 4:26 AM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The magic world for googling is "quick"... as in "quick pickle", which is a method of making non-fermented pickles.

This yields quick sauerkraut recipes like this and this
posted by falconred at 8:47 AM on December 23, 2010

Best answer: I don't know that you can cobble anything together that's really sauerkraut in this time frame. I wouldn't even try, but would go with braised cabbage. As an alternative, store-bought sauerkraut can be doctored pretty well. Look first for bagged, then in a glass jar, in your refrigerated section. Ingredients should pretty much only be salt, water, cabbage and possibly spices. Rinse the kraut with water, then add to taste: caraway seeds (a teaspoon per pound); an apple peeled, cored and shredded; brown sugar and 6-12 juniper berries. (Use a spice sachet to make it easy to remove.) I simmer mine over low heat or in the oven for hours with vodka and water as needed. (Use gin if you don't have juniper berries.)

Before serving, I sweat some onions in a pan with goose, duck or bacon fat (strained), then drain the kraut and toss it with the fat and onions.
posted by Hylas at 10:53 AM on December 23, 2010

Best answer: (falconred, that first link starts with a recipe that takes six weeks to ferment, and all but one other are with jarred kraut. Maybe you meant to link directly to this one?)

I would also recommend a red cabbage recipe like lollusc's. I had one that included dried cranberries, and was really good.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:16 PM on December 23, 2010

If you have a vacuum sealer, it can help speed up the process.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:11 PM on December 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you all, and to all a good night!
posted by smoke at 2:04 PM on December 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

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