Store the delicious flavor and nutritional benefits of the cabbage by keeping it pickled. Cabbage usually discolors and has a very strong flavor when stored in a pickle. Therefore, it is recommended to prepare it in pickles beforehand. Furthermore, as cabbages are low in acidity, a pressure canner is necessary to prevent bacterial contamination. Note that these devices may not be so easily found in Brazil. In the US, they are widely available and marketed as 'Pressure Canner'. Follow the steps below to prepare boiled cabbage preserves using the pressure device.
- 5, 4kg of cabbage, purple or green (approximately 3 or 4 heads)
- 8 cups (1.9 liters) of red wine vinegar (5% acidity)
- 1/2 cup pickling salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup of mustard seeds
- 1/4 cup of whole cloves
- 1/4 cup of mace
- 1/4 cup of whole allspice
- 1/4 cup of whole pepper
- 1/4 cup of celery seeds
Step 1. Prepare the cabbage
Choose fresh, ripe cabbages without bruises or marks. Wash them thoroughly. Cut the cabbage into 4 parts, starting from its stem, and then chop them with a knife or food processor. Arrange the salted cabbage pieces in a large bowl, cover and let stand 24 hours.
Step 2. Place the cabbage in a colander and wash it under cold running water
Then let it dry on strainers or paper towels for six hours.
Step 3. Prepare the pickle liquid
Mix vinegar, sugar, mace and mustard seeds in a large bowl. Then, add the remaining ingredients and make a small bundle with a strainer or other fine cloth. Place the package in the pan. Heat the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the fire.
Step 4. Wash 7 1 liter glass jars and metal lids with hot soap and water
Keep the pots and lids warm until you are ready to use them.
Pots and lids can be kept warm by being placed upside down in a bowl of hot water or by washing them in a dishwasher and keeping them inside the appliance until it is time to use them
Step 5. Fill the pots with cabbage
Pour the pickle liquid over the cabbage until it's completely covered. Leave a space of 1.25cm at the top of the pots.
Step 6. Wipe the edges of the pots with a clean cloth
Gently stir contents to eliminate air bubbles and close with metal lids. Place the sealed pots on the grid/stand of the pressure canner, filled with 2.8 liters of hot water.
The pots must not touch the bottom of the pot or each other, in order to allow the steam to flow freely through them
Step 7. Close the appliance and let the water boil
Allow the steam to pass through the appliance's air vents for 10 minutes before closing them. After 10 minutes, cover the air vents or place the weights (depending on the type of device used) and let the pressure build.
Step 8. Let the jars process in the canner for 20 minutes, adjusting the pressure according to your altitude (see guide below)
Start counting time when the required pressure is reached. Check the gauge frequently to make sure the required pressure is being maintained.
- For instruments with pressure gauges, set to 11 PSI (75.8 kPa) for altitudes from 0 to 2000 ft (0 to 610 m), 12 PSI (82.7 kPa) for altitudes from 2001 to 4000 ft (610 to 1220 m), 13 PSI (89.6 kPa) for altitudes from 4001 to 6000 ft (1220 to 1830 m), and 14 PSI (96.5 kPa) for 6001 to 8000 ft (1830 to 2440 m).
- For weight adjusters, use 10 PSI (68.95 kPa) for altitudes from 0 to 1000 ft (0 to 305 m) and 15 PSI (103.4 kPa) for altitudes above 1000 ft.
Step 9. Turn off the heat source and let the pressure return to 0 PSI
Then remove the weights or open the air vents. Wait 2 minutes. Carefully open the lid and let the steam out.
Step 10. Remove the pots with a suitable tongs and place them on a wooden counter, or a surface covered with a thick cloth towel
Let them cool down. Keep 2, 5 to 5cm of space between the pots so that air can circulate.
Wait until you hear a distinctive sound, indicating that the lid seal has been 'sucked' down and the jars are properly sealed. This can take about 12 hours
Step 11. Label ingredients and date and store in a cool, dry place protected from light
- Visit a local greengrocer or vegetable garden to learn about other cabbage variations to prepare your preserves.
- Check the instrument's pressure gauge constantly to make sure the level is correct.
- Follow the instructions carefully to avoid botulism contamination, which can be deadly.
- If the lid seal does not work properly (the 'knob' in the middle of the lid is not pulled down), use the cabbage immediately and do not store it.
- If the preserve has a sour or unpleasant smell when opened, dispose of it immediately.