The excitement for my clay pot has not worn off. I have been baking in it all week. I urge all my foodie friends to get out there and by yourselves a clay baker because you will be amazed at the difference in taste; the food is tender, juicy, and full of flavor. It’s that good!
When my father found out about my new clay baker, he immediately put in his order for Podvarok, that is Baked Sauerkraut. He even brought me brined cabbage, which is the main ingredient for this dish.
Baked Sauerkraut is a dish that is served during the winter months across the entire Balkan region. Macedonians, and others from the region, are known for pickling just about everything, and that includes cabbage. You would be surprised at how many different ways you can eat brined cabbage – you can eat it as a salad, you can use it as a wrap and stuff it with rice and meat, or you can even serve it in a sandwich with a really good piece of bacon. Another thing I have to share with you about brined cabbage – the juice from the cabbage has been proven to heal stomach ulcers. My dad drinks full glasses of this stuff. 🙂 And, while we are on the subject of the benefits of cabbage, did you know that cabbage is believed to lower the risk of colon cancer and lung cancer? I believe that many times, if not most times, the cure that we need is in the food we just need to find it.
Okay, enough with my yapping (I can talk all day) lets get to the meal!
Baked sauerkraut relies heavily on its ingredients; you need a good brined cabbage, fresh cayenne pepper and fresh black pepper. Others also include bacon and/or pork ribs in the sauerkraut, but because I made this during Christmas Fast, I had to omit the meat.
You will need:
- 1 head brined cabbage, shredded
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion salt
- 3/4 cup water
- Preheat oven at 425.
- Place the shredded cabbage in a deep pot over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated.
- Add in olive oil and cook it for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour the cabbage mixture into a deep baking dish, or a clay baker, add in the black pepper, cayenne pepper, and onion salt.
- Stir to combine, pour in the water, and put the cabbage into the oven for about an hour and a half (60-90 minutes).
- Stir occasionally to prevent the cabbage from burning.
- Serve it hot with a good piece of bread, like ciabatta, and a glass of Pinot Grigio.