Saturday, 12 March 2016

Red Cabbage, Beetroot and Cranberry Pickle

I love pickles! You can see this from my earlier recipes of pickled Jalapenos, Habanero jelly etc that I posted last year.  It is based on Achara which is a type of sweet pickle from the Philippines. The traditional Philippine Achara uses green Papaya as the base but I wanted to develop a recipe using red cabbage and raw Beetroot. Because of the bright red color, this is a very nice pickle to use either at Thanksgiving or Christmas  but can naturally be made anytime of the year. It'll keep for quite a while in the refrigerator.  I shredded the beetroot by hand, and also sliced the cabbage in this way but the shredder and slicing discs on a food processor obviously will make the task less difficult. I have added Thai Chili to the pickle as I like pickles to be spicy. If you do not want a spicy pickle, this chili may be omitted. If you like a sweeter pickle, the sugar may be increased. Although the pickle can be eaten after 24 hours, it is best eaten after about 1 week in the refrigerator as this will give it time to mature, and the flavors to mix together. It will keep for a couple of months in the refrigerator.

1 small head of red cabbage or Radicchio
2 medium sized beetroot
1/2 cup pickling salt
1 cup white vinegar
1 red onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips
2 red Jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and cut into slices
2 green Jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and sliced
2 red Thai chili peppers, sliced (optional)
6 tablespoons dried cranberries

Pickling Brine
2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar (increase to 1 3/4 cups if you like a sweeter pickle)
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon Pickle Crisp granules (optional but I like to use it as it keeps the pickles nice and crunchy)

1. Wash and finely slice the red cabbage as if to make Sauerkraut.
2. Wash the beetroot carefully, cut off tops and root at the bottom. Peel the beetroot. Use the coarse shredder on a grater or the appropriate disc on a food processor, shred the beetroot and mix with the cabbage. Add to this the 1/2 cup of pickling salt and massage it into the vegetables for about 10 minutes. This will cause some fluid to be extracted  from the cabbage and beetroot. Put the mixture in a colander or sieve to drain the liquid. Rinse the cabbage and beetroot once or twice to wash away the excess salt. Using a clean cheesecloth, place a handful of the mixture at a time into the cloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Place the vegetables in a glass bowl, add 1 cup of vinegar, cover and leave in refrigerator overnight.
3. The next day, clean and sterilize a glass jar for the pickles. Place the strips of ginger at the bottom of the jar.
4. In a small pot, add the vinegar, sugar, salt, Pickle it (if you are using that), dried cranberries, and salt. Heat the contents over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. DO NOT allow the mixture to boil. Let it cool to room temperature as this will allow the dried cranberries to absorb some of the liquid and  "plump up".
5. Using another piece of cheesecloth, place small quantities of the vinegar soaked cabbage and beetroot mixture on the cloth and squeeze out as much of the vinegar as you can.
6. In the clean and sterilized pickling jar, arrange the cabbage and beetroot in alternating layers with the sliced onion, garlic and peppers. Pour the pickling brine over this and shake the jar a couple of times to ensure that pockets of air that may be trapped in the mixture, rise to the surface. Use a clean spoon or fork to further press down on the mixture as well. Store in the refrigerator.    

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