Pickled red cabbage is a great side dish to add a little kick of sour for a family meal. It is also very easy to make.
Step 1: Aquiring Materials
If you only want to pickle the cabbage, you are only going to need one head of red cabbage (about two pounds), 12 tbsp vinegar, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, and 1 tbsp salt. The vinegar should at least be 50 grain (At least in the United States, the grain should be listed somewhere on the bottle, usually on the ingredient list). Although spirit vinegar is traditional, I recommend red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar instead. You are also going to want a large glass bowl, a fresh cheesecloth, a medium non-stick pot, a large non-metal spoon, and an airtight container.
If you want to can the cabbage as well, you will need all the above except the airtight container, in addition to a large non-metal canning pot with a rack, a canning funnel, a pair of jar-lifting tongs, two pint-sized mason jars, as well as rings and new lids for them. If you are canning the cabbage, you also need to make sure the salt is kosher.
Step 2: Preparing the Cabbage
First, rinse the cabbage to remove any dirt that may be on it, then slice all the cabbage into fine (about ⅛ of an inch wide) strips. Place all the shreds into the glass bowl, add the salt, and toss it all together. Loosely cover the bowl with the cheesecloth, and then store the bowl in a dry, cool, dark place for at least 12 hours.
After 12 hours, remove the cheesecloth, and use it to drain any moisture on the cabbage, then return the cabbage to the bowl, and let the cabbage sit another hour.
Step 3: Mixing the Pickle
After that hour has passed, mix the cabbage, vinegar and sugar in the bowl, and stir vigorously. After two minutes of stirring, transfer the mixture into the non-stick pot, and place the pot on a stove, and bring to a boil, still stirring vigorously. Once the mixture reaches a boiling point, remove the spoon and let cook for five minutes.
If you do not intend to pickle the cabbage, let the mixture cool, before placing it in an airtight container. Refrigerate the container for at least twelve hours, then consume within two weeks. Then you are done, you do not need to do any of the later steps.
Step 4: Preparing the Cans
Before you can actually begin the canning of the cabbage, it is very important to make sure everything is sanitized. In order to do this, first clean both jars with soap and water, then dry the jars completely. After the jars are cleaned, then submerge all the jars completely in boiling water in the canning pot for at least 10 minutes. While you are doing this make sure that the cabbage remains warm.
Step 5: Canning the Cabbage
Bring the cabbage back to a boil, then use the canning funnel to transfer the cabbage into the cans, making sure to leave at least ½ an inch of air between the top of the cabbage and the top of the jar. Place the lids and rings on the jars, then re-submerge the jars in boiling water for twenty five minutes, then remove the jars and let dry for at least three hours. Press the lids gently with one finger, if there is any popping noise made, refrigerate that jar and consume within two weeks. Otherwise consume within two weeks of opening the jar.