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Sunday, 4 October 2015

Pickled Red Cabbage

I like my veggies whether cooked from fresh or preserved and pickled for another day.  Pickled Cabbage puts in a regular appearance on my pantry shelf as OH quite likes it.  Its also a good way of livening a salad up in the winter months and the colour gives that plate of food a little more attraction after all we reportedly eat with our eyes first!

Here are the official instructions:

1.5kg/3lb red cabbage
3-4 tablespoon of coarse salt
600-900ml/1 to 1-1/2 pints cold spiced vinegar

Method

Remove the outer leaves from the cabbage then wash and quarter the cabbage.  Take out the hard white centre core and shred the cabbage finely across the leaves.  Spread cabbage in a shallow dish then sprinkle the salt over the top and leave overnight.  Drain off the "brine" by placing it in a colander and leaving it to drain. Then wash the cabbage well before draining again. Sterilise your jars either in the dishwasher or in the cooker. Pack into glass jars not too tightly and cover with the cold spiced vinegar.  Using a knife pop it into each jar individually as it helps release any air bubbles which if they pop will lower the level of the vinegar in the jar and leave the cabbage uncovered which you do not want.  To help alleviate this I pop a square of tightly folded baking parchment into each jar to form a buffer between the cabbage and the lid which should keep the cabbage submerged in the vinegar. Pop on vinegar proof lids.  (You can buy little plastic rounds to pop in which can be sterilised but this way works just as well).  Keep the cabbage on the pantry shelf for a minimum of 14 days after that you can use it.

In older recipes from years ago it was not recommended to use screwbands as they were just metal and used to react with the vinegar.  These days there is a plastic coating on most of the lids.  When I first started pickling many years ago it was recommended that any pickle had an outer covering of a material that would stop the vinegar fly getting in and the product was called Porosan which used to be tied over the metal lids.

It is important that you only use cold spiced vinegar as this helps the cabbage keep its crispness.  Using warm or hot will make it go limp.

It therefore is useful to buy your vinegar already spiced or you can spice it yourself but you do need to make it in advance as you need to use cold spiced vinegar. 

 You can make it in batches and store it in bottles on the Pantry floor which will enable the spices time to mix properly.  Please see separate post for a basic spiced vinegar.  I think there are a couple of other versions further back as well.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

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