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Sauerkraut is loved all over the world, but it is especially popular in the Slavic countries, where it is one of the most traditional snacks. This is due, first of all, to the fact that in countries with relatively cold climates there are not many dishes that could boast of a rich vitamin C content in winter. And the lack of this vitamin in the old days led to truly catastrophic consequences for many people. In cabbage, sauerkraut according to old recipes, without the addition of vinegar, not only all vitamins and nutrients are preserved, but also multiplied due to the naturally occurring fermentation process. But it is interesting that in other countries sauerkraut has been known since antiquity, and among the recipes that have survived to this day, Georgian sauerkraut with beets is very popular.
It is distinguished, first of all, by its color and juiciness, thanks to which this dish may well decorate any festive table, not to mention an everyday meal. But the taste of this sauerkraut is also very peculiar and will come in handy to diversify the usual unleavened dishes of the winter table.
Among the many existing options for making cabbage, the classic recipe stands out, which does not include the addition of vinegar, and the fermentation of cabbage occurs naturally. In its simplest form, you need the following components:
- White cabbage - 2-3 kg;
- Raw beets - 1.5 kg;
- Celery - several bunches of herbs, weighing about 150 grams;
- Cilantro - 100 grams;
- Garlic - 2 medium sized heads;
- Hot red pepper - 2-3 pods;
- Salt - 90 grams;
- Water - 2-3 liters.
Advice! If you like a spicy salting, then in addition to the above recipe ingredients, add two bay leaves, 7 pieces of cloves and allspice and 20 grams of sugar to one liter of water.
Cabbage heads are cleaned of external contaminated and old leaves. Then each head of cabbage is cut into several parts, the roughest part of the stump is cut out inside.
Beets are peeled and cut into thin slices. The garlic is peeled to white cloves. Each slice is cut into at least two parts.
Important! In this form, the garlic will better convey its unique taste to the cabbage brine and at the same time will be suitable for consumption.
Hot peppers are washed under cold water, cut in half. All internal seed chambers are cleaned from it, and it is once again washed with running water, after which it is cut into circles.
Celery and cilantro are cleaned of possible contamination and are finely chopped.
Now is the time to start preparing the brine. The exact amount of brine is determined empirically. There should be enough of it so that the cabbage with vegetables, laid in the pan, is completely covered with it.
In the simplest recipe, about 40 grams of salt is taken for 1 liter of water. The water is brought to a boil, then the salt dissolves in it and everything cools. When using spices, they are added after boiling water, and the water is heated with them for another 5 minutes.
This recipe is best for fermenting cabbage in a large enamel saucepan using a press on top. Beets are laid out at the very bottom, then a layer of cabbage, again a layer of beets, and so on. Somewhere in the middle, sprinkle the cabbage with a layer of chopped herbs and garlic with hot pepper. At the very top there must necessarily be a layer of beets - this will serve as a guarantee of uniform coloring of the cabbage in a beautiful raspberry color.
After laying out all the vegetables and herbs, they are poured with cold brine, and a plate with oppression is placed on top, which can be a large jar filled with water.
Place the container with cabbage under oppression in a warm place with a temperature of about + 20 ° + 22 ° C, where direct sunlight does not fall.
Every day after the appearance of foam, it is necessary to pierce the contents of the pan with a sharp fork or knife so that gases come out of the cabbage. When the foam stops appearing and the brine becomes transparent, the Georgian sauerkraut is ready. It can be transferred to jars with nylon lids and stored in the refrigerator.
The next option is specially designed for those who like to experiment. Cabbage, sauerkraut according to this recipe, has a greater right to be called pickled, since the sourdough comes with the addition of vinegar, but this allows you to cook it very quickly. The entire process can take as little as 12 hours, although more often it is left on for 24 hours.
The composition of the ingredients in the recipe is very diverse, but you can experiment, focusing on your taste and add or remove any ingredients. Only the presence of cabbage and beets is important. So, you are preparing:
- White cabbage - about 2 kg;
- Beets - 600 grams;
- Carrots - 300 grams;
- Onions - 200 grams (add optional);
- Hot pepper - 1 pod;
- Garlic - 1 head;
- Greens (cilantro, parsley, dill, celery) - only about 200 grams;
- Pepper peas - 6-7 pieces.
Attention! The composition of the brine according to the recipe is quite traditional: for 1 liter of water, half a glass of sugar and 9% vinegar are added, as well as 60 grams of salt.
All vegetables are peeled and cut into pieces:
- beets and carrots - straws;
- onions - in half rings;
- cabbage - rectangular cubes;
- garlic - in small cubes;
- hot pepper - in circles.
The herbs are finely chopped with a knife. All vegetables and herbs are combined in a large bowl and then placed in a large glass jar.
At the same time, salt with sugar, black pepper and vinegar are added to boiling water. Vegetables in a jar are poured with boiling marinade and covered with a lid on top. After cooling down after 12 hours, sauerkraut can already be tasted.
The cabbage prepared according to this recipe is usually stored in a cool place, but as experience shows, it does not stale for a long time. Therefore, for the winter, it is better to make it in larger quantities.