1 large red cabbage
2 sprigs of rosemary
50g salted butter
50g Cornish Sea Salt & Peppery
1 litre water
60g / 2 1/2oz Cornish Sea Salt Crystals
There is more to cabbage that just coleslaw! Smoked cabbage can be a delicious dish to serve alongside a glazed ham, smoked pork butt or with crispy lardons of bacon and apple as a side dish that is both sweet and smokey. I like to take it one step further and ferment the smoked cabbage to add a bright lift to the flavour and complement the darker smoke tones. This is the perfect place to start with fermenting and uses your brining skills too. If you want to soften the intensity of the kraut you can braise the fermented sauerkraut in a light stock which reduces the acidity levels.
Set up the smoker with apple wood at 120˚C / 250˚F
Prepare the cabbage by carefully removing the core with a boning knife, then stuff the cabbage with some rosemary and a knob of butter.
Season the cabbage with a simple salt and pepper rub. Place in the smoker for 2 hours, then cover with tinfoil for the remaining hour.
Allow the cabbage to cool and then slice thinly.
Prepare the brine for the kraut. For the brine, boil the water and salt in a pan and stir until the salt dissolves.
Allow to cool, then chill the brine in the fridge to 5°C.
Put the shredded cabbage into a bowl and pour in the chilled brine so that it covers the cabbage. Place a sieve on top to keep cabbage submerged in brine.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and leave in a cool place for 2 weeks. The temperature should be no higher than 23°C / 68˚F to allow fermentation to begin without harmful bacteria multiplying.
After 2 weeks, drain the brine from the cabbage and the smoked kraut is now ready to eat.
Store the sauerkraut in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Have a go with white cabbage or at smoked fennel kraut, following the same method as above, or even smoked Kimchi once you are comfortable with this basic fermenting technique.