Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saturday: baked sauerkraut

We got the first sauerkraut of the season last week and in this month's Le Menu there's a recipe for a sauerkraut gratin. That's a coincidence that's too big to ignore. :-)

Toss rinsed sauerkraut with some leek (cut into thin strips), a bit of diced bacon, and caraway (I didn't actually use caraway since the 'kraut from the biokiste is already seasoned) and pack into a gratin dish. Top with strips of bacon, raclette cheese, and leek rings. Bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes, top with some diced bread and bake another 5-10 minutes until the bread is brown and toasty.

I did this with a pretty aromatic raclette cheese which complemented the sauerkraut very nicely.

Of course we also had a green salad.


Goob said...

I don't know if you've got a basement.

Last spring, we decided we were sufficiently into this whole fermentation nonsense that we sprung for a Harsch crock. We salted some cabbage, a brine fell out of it, and then we stomped the cabbage into the crock with the brine, dropped weights on it all and sealed up the lid.

(The crocks are awesome; we've had good results. The weights are clever and incredibly effective. The airlock rim of the lid purports to keep molds to a minimum, and so far it has - this last batch we've only had to pull out mold once, and it was a small colony at that. As implements go, they're kind of pricey - there are polish versions of the same style of crock that are a bit cheaper. I've no idea what kind of native technologies are available in your part of the world.)

We've done both kraut and pickles in the thing, now, and both turned out great. Adding horseradish leaves to the kraut ferment seems to help (grape leaves are said to help, too, but we're not growing grapes yet).

(We're not growing the horseradish, either, really - it pretty much grows itself. I'm sure it would grow itself all over the damn yard if we didn't have it in a half barrel.)

In any event: this stuff is good stuff. It is utterly unlike any kraut I've ever had - it handily beats the market varieties, and even outpaces the stuff we got in the CSA crate two years ago.

The other thing that came up with week was Japanese style miso-pickled garlic; that is to say, garlic that has been sitting in a tub of miso for a bunch of months. The only thing I'll say about that is: damn, I have to learn to make miso now, too.

greg landrum said...

Sounds fantastic.
My recent experiments with fermented pickles haven't been real successful: the mold always wins. It doesn't help that we don't have a cool basement to store stuff in, so things live in the kitchen.

Fortunately for us on the sauerkraut front: one of the stands at the market is run by some Alsatian farmers who do a really, really nice sauerkraut. Doesn't help with the pickles though.