Fermentation is the alchemy that makes the cabbage in this sauerkraut recipe sing. Sauerkraut is finely sliced, salted, fermented cabbage that is then cooked. It’s served in Germany with a variety of dishes including sausages, smoked pork loins and roasted pork. It is thought that the lactic acid in the sauerkraut assists digestion. In Alsace it is known as choucroute.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- ½ cup chopped bacon
- three-week-old marinated (fermented) white cabbage
- 2-3 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp juniper berries
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch white pepper
- 2 glasses good white wine, plus a little extra
- 1 piece pork loin, for flavour
- 1 raw peeled potato
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a large saucepan, heat oil, add onions and bacon and fry until translucent. Add the marinated cabbage including the juice.
Break up the cloves and bay leaves a little and add them to the pot. Add caraway seeds and juniper berries and stir. Then stir in white sugar and white pepper. Stir in white wine. Add pork loin and stir together.
Turn gas down and simmer for 25 minutes, checking the pot every now and then so when it reduces it doesn’t burn.
In a separate bowl, grate raw, peeled potato and add a little more good white wine, mix to a runny paste consistency. Add to the cooking pot and stir through, cooking for 5 more minutes, until the raw potato has had a chance to cook. This will thicken the dish just before serving.