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.