Earthy with a pungent sweet punch, beetkraut is one of our favourites. As with all ferments, experimentation is the key and learning to make the perfect beetkraut is directed by your taste buds. The below recipe should just be used as a starting point and then once you are comfortable making a basic beetkraut, get creative with flavourings.
(makes around 2 litres)
2 firm, large red cabbages, cored (any leathery outer leaves removed)
3 - 4 medium red beetroot
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 - 3 teaspoons sea salt (taste as you go - aim for pleasantly salty)
2.5 litre fermentation pot
ceramic weight stones
vegetable slicer or sharp knife
vegetable tamper or rolling pin
Wash your fermentation pot + ceramic weight stones.
Wash the cabbage and reserve two leaves.
Shred the cabbage finely. Our vegetable slicers make the job easier but you can also use a sharp knife.
Wash, peel and grate the beetroot.
Transfer cabbage and beetroot to a large bowl and add the salt, caraway and fennel seeds. Now use your hands to squeeze and scrunch. Keep doing this until the juices start to flow.
Start layering the beetkraut into your fermentation pot and use your hand, vegetable tamper or the end of a rolling pin to press down gently so that more juice is released and the vegetables are fully submerged in its juices. Reserve some of the juice left at the bottom of the bowl.
Keep doing this until the mix is 2-3 inches below the neck.
You should end up with an inch or so of the juice on top and covering the veg. If not, add the reserved juice.
The most important thing to do throughout the fermentation process is to keep the veggies underneath the liquid. You can do this by adding the cabbage leaves you reserved at the beginning, and compressing down well to create a 'cap', and then pop the ceramic weight stones on top. Fill the gutter - roughly half - with water, and place the lid on.
Place the pot in a warm spot in your kitchen but not in direct sunlight.
The fermentation process to make naturally fermented beetkraut tends to take one to three weeks. Do a taste test after three days to see if it is tangy enough for you. If not, replace the lid and wait.
Top up the gutter if the water falls below the half-way mark.
Once it is tangy enough for you, transfer to airtight container and store in fridge.
The beetkraut will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.