Streamlined Pickled Red Cabbage

Pickled Red Cabbage

Streamlined Pickled Red Cabbage

I am shying away from calling this Sauerkraut as this recipe is not fermented – just pickled.   There is a massive difference, not least of which is the time it takes to prepare.  I adore pickled cabbage, however I do not have the patience to salt, press, pickle and jar over several days (this is a quick recipe).   Also when you are the only fan of fermented cabbage in the house, it is a bit of a hard sell to convince your beloved to push through the aroma barrier.  I think the colour or red cabbage is magnificent, as is the taste and that alone makes this pickle worth having in the fridge!

So here is my Streamlined Pickled Red Cabbage.

½  cup red wine vinegar
½  white vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1-2 tablespoons of sugar *
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Good grating of nutmeg
2 heads of fresh red cabbage, very finely sliced
2 red onions, very finely sliced
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
Pinch of ground cloves
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon fresh thyme sprigs
Cracked black pepper
Additional white vinegar as required

*Cabbage has a high sugar content and gives off a lot of extra sweetness once chilled and after a few days in a jar.  If you want to keep your cabbage tart, add extra white vinegar and lemon juice and reduce the sugar.

In a high sided frying pan (not a saucepan, the cabbage will become too soggy) add the sugar, salt, vinegars, bay leaves and half the thyme.  Turn on the heat and warm gradually until the sugar and salt dissolve entirely.  Add the lemon juice and then add the onions, cloves, mustard and caraway seeds and cabbage and pepper.
Increase the heat and toss the cabbage through the vinegar mix gently, ensuring all the ingredients are well combined.  Cook until the vinegar and pan juices have reduced by almost half and are absorbed by the cabbage.  Check that the cabbage maintains some crunch and is not overly soggy.
Remove from the heat and add reserved thyme and lemon zest.

Pickled Red Cabbage

Prepare your preserving jars by washing them thoroughly and allowing them to dry upside down on the rack in a 70-90°C oven while you make your preserve.  The jars will be hot, but not scalding when removed from the oven.
Add the cabbage to your preserving jars – fill them generously – it is better to have a tightly packed jar with a little liquid than all liquid and no cabbage.  Top up the jars with the extra vinegar and leave the jars to cool.

This pickled cabbage can be eaten immediately and will last well in an unopened jar.
Serve with Vienna Schnitzel, Chipolatas or as part of an antipasti platter.