Nourishing Mexican Fiesta-Cortido

Cotido or Latin American Sauerkraut is the final dish in my Nourishing Mexican Fiesta. Cortido is a delicious lacto-fermented food that is a yummy addition to any Mexican or Latin American meal. To learn the benefits of lacto-fermented click here to read what my friend Marillyn has to say.
Traditionally cortido is made with pineapple vinegar but it can be made with whey and salt. Mexico has it’s own form of pineapple vinegar called Tepache that is made into a beverage. I sampled it for the first time right after I moved to our ministry. Our directors son, then twelve asked if I would like some pineapple juice, I gladly accepted. Boy was I in for a surprise. Little did I know that I would be making my own a few years later, not for drinking but to culture my veggies! I love how the pineapple vinegar uses the parts of the pineapple we normally discard. Waste free! 
For this cortido I started out with tepache  but I ran out so I added some salt. It turned out just fine. I love eating it with all my Mexican food. I even added it to enchiladas, my parents and sister whom I am visiting right now, are a bit skeptical about all my “concoctions” but they didn’t even notice the cortido that I sneaked in there! Both recipes are based off of ones found in Sally Fallons “Nourishing Traditions”.
Tepache (Pineapple Vinegar)
1 quart of water
skin and core from one pineapple
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
Put all the ingredients in a glass jar or bowl, cover and leave for 36 hours at room temperature. Strain off the pineapple, put in a jar and cover tightly. The vinegar will keep for several months in a cool place.
1 large cabbage, cored and shredded
2 cups carrots, grated
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 TBS dried oregano (fresh should work too, you just need more of it)
1/2 TBS red chili flakes
1 TBS salt
1 quart pineapple vinegar
Mix all the ingredients except for the vinegar together in a large bowl. Pound with a wooden pounder or whatever you can find, I used a rolling-pin for about 10 minutes to release the juices. The mixture will fill to quart size jars. Pour enough pineapple vinegar in the jars to cover the top of the cortido. Be sure that the mixture is at least one inch below the top of the jars. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature. After three days transfer the cordtido to cool storage normally the top shelf of the fridge unless you are luck enough to have a root cellar. 
About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. Michelle, I’ve know Naomi for years. We grew up in the same homeschool group. That will be fun to see your recipes! If they are anythings in like the ones in “The Jean Book” that you started, which I love by the way I’m sure they are great. Thanks for starting that book, Janet and I have had fun adding out ideas to the book. Blessings!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Katie, my husband noticed different things about the ranch and said that you were connected to the ranch (I worked and the ranch 11 years ago from (1991-2000) Also my friend here Petra says you are friends with Naomi Barnes (she has been here to visit us. Actually David said that the alcohol content for tepache is only 0.5% – 1% . But our friend told us how to make it really really strong. I’m going to send some recipes to Janet that might be usefull for the ranch. Things that are tried and true for us here. I don’t know how to select a profile that is why I pick anonymous and put my name . Michelle Los Mochis, Sinola

  3. Michelle, did you know that I work at RSM? I got the recipe for tepache in a cook book. Probalby better to stick with what the locals know but I don’t make mine for drinking just for my cortido. Hope everything is going well with you and your family!


  4. Anonymous says:

    Re: Tepache I am a missionary in Mexico and my friends make a drink that is called Tepache. (I used 1 gallon water, skin and core of pineapple, 1-2 cones of piloncillo loosely cover and let set out for 1 week (it will foam) then strain out pineapple add water about another gallon of water and some more sugar if necessary serve well chilled over ice Don’t drink to much you will get a little buzz. but it is great on hot days.

    Michelle Los Mochis, Sinaloa

  5. Wow, that sounds really good! Unfortunately, pineapples are really expensive round these parts- like 10 dollars a pineapple, so I think I’ll have to pass. I am trying to make feijoa vinegar though at the moment. We’ll see if it works out. Thanks for linking up to the zero food waste challenge. When I ate pineapples (back when I was in the US), I would always eat the cores!

  6. This sounds interesting and delicious.

  7. I’ve just started to get into lacto fermenting and this sounds like a great next thing to try! I love how refreshing and light it sounds. Thanks so much for joining Two for Tuesdays blog hop this week. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog more 🙂

  8. Katie, I am such a fan of latin food and I adore making sauerkraut, so this is on my to do list along with some more kim che! Thanks so much for sharing the real food love on the two for tuesday blog hop! I grabbed your rss feed! 🙂 alex

  9. I have been meaning to make my own Tepache forever…you’ve reminded me, thank you!! And I’ll definitely make the sauerkraut once I have…it sounds delicious =) Thank you so much for sharing this with Two for Tuesdays this week!

  10. No, I haven’t. I’m going to have to try it. Sounds so good! What are pupupas?

  11. So refreshing! And the best accompaniment to pupupas.

    Do you ever add whole chunks of pineapple? I made it that way a few batches ago, and my family is still talking about it.


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