Christmas Kraut

Christmas lunch wouldn't be the same without braised red cabbage.  Which is why I am super excited about this recipe.  Everyone wants to get ahead by making parts of the turkey dinner in advance.  Why not kill two birds with one stone and make a gut loving, probiotic rich Christmas red cabbage that you can easily scoop from the jar on Christmas Day.  It'll help your digestion during the eating marathon that Christmas Day is so famous for, too.

Ingredients
Makes 1 x 1L jar

1 red organic cabbage
2-3 organic apples
Zest from 1 organic orange
1tsp mixed spice
Optional: 1 small organic red onion, finely sliced
2tsp sea salt per 500g vegetables

You will need: 1 x 1L clip top jar or a collection of smaller recycled jars.

Mehtod

- Sterilise your jar using boiling water from the kettle, in a 140C oven for 20 minutes (the rubber gasket will need to be removed for this one) or by running though an empty cycle in the dishwasher.

- Wash the fruit and veg in clean water and weigh to determine how much salt you will need to use.

- Save the outer leaves from the cabbage - whole if possible - for later use.  Shred the rest of the cabbage.  Core and grate the apples.

- Place in a large mixing bowl along with the orange zest, mixed spice and onion if using.

- Sprinkle with the salt before firmly squeezing/massaging with your hands until a little liquid appears.  At this point, you can either continue to massage, or cover with a tea towel and leave for 20 minutes for the salt to draw the rest of the juices from the vegetables.  Either way, you are aiming for about a saucer of liquid (more is great!) to form in the bottom of the bowl.

- Pack the kraut into the sterilized jar and tamper down between layers to ensure it is tightly packed and covered by liquid.  Pour in any remaining liquid from the bowl.

- Once all the kraut is packed into the jar, check that it is submerged in brine (the cabbage liquid).  If not, top up with a brine mixture of 1tsp sea salt to 200ml spring/mineral water.

- Use the outer cabbage leaves as a kind of duvet, tucking the kraut in and keeping it submerged.

- Leave on your kitchen worktop away from sunlight and heat giving appliances, or somewhere that is between 16-22C for at least a week, at which point, you can taste it to see if it has soured enough for you.  If so, transfer to the fridge to eat as and when.  If not, leave for another couple of days before tasting again.