By Bjorn Bergman and Heidi Krattiger - Fall 2016 Issue
German-inspired sauerkraut is what you’ll find on most tailgate spreads, but we’re changing things up with curtido, a traditional Salvadorian sauerkraut.
Recipe Detail Serves: 24 30 min. plus fermenting time Prep Time, Cook Time
In a large stainless steel bowl, mix together cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic and 4 tsp. sea salt or canning/pickling salt (do not use iodized salt). Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The salt will draw moisture out of the veggies to create brine. Try the cabbage mixture. It should taste salty, but not salty like the ocean. If you’d like the curtido saltier, add another teaspoon of sea salt and mix well.
Once a layer of brine forms in the bottom of the bowl, stir in red pepper flakes and oregano. Tightly pack veggies and brine into one half-gallon or two quart-sized wide-mouth mason jar(s).
Once all the mixture is packed, some brine should be present at the surface. Weigh down veggies using a half-pint or three-quarter- pint regular-mouth mason jar filled with water to keep the veggies covered in brine. (If your veggies aren’t covered with brine, dissolve 1 ½ tsp. sea salt in 1 cup water to make additional brine. Add a couple tablespoons of this brine to the curtido until brine covers all the veggies when weight is placed on top.)
Place mason jar(s) in a bowl or pan to catch brine that might overflow. Place out of direct sunlight on your kitchen counter for 5 to 7 days. Look at it every day, and press down on the weight to remove air bubbles and keep all veggies under the brine.
After 5 to 7 days, remove weight and try the curtido using a clean fork. Ask yourself: How does it taste? Do I like the level of sourness? Do I like the texture? Is the cabbage crunchy or is it soft? If you like the flavor and texture, put a lid on your mason jar(s) and place in the fridge. If you’d like it sourer and less crunchy, put the weight back and let it ferment for a few more days. Repeat taste-testing until it is to your liking.
Curtido keeps in the fridge for one year, but we guarantee you’ll eat it all long before then.