Reprinted with permission from Southern from Scratch: Pantry Essentials and Down-Home Recipes
BY ASHLEY ENGLISH | PHOTO BY ERIN ADAMS
Makes about 3 pints
1 small head green cabbage, grated
1 medium cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup pickling salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup light brown sugar
½ cup water
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seeds
Combine the cabbage, cucumbers, onion, bell pepper, and pickling salt in a large, nonreactive mixing bowl, such as glass or ceramic. Using clean hands, toss the vegetables with the salt to fully combine. Cover loosely with a kitchen cloth and leave at room temperature for eight to 12 hours. Drain the mixture in a colander, pressing on the vegetables with a wooden or metal spoon. Don’t rinse with water, though, just press out and discard any juices.
Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, water, mustard powder, turmeric, and celery seeds in a medium pot. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved. Add the vegetable mixture, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the chow chow cooks, fill a canner or large stockpot with water, place three or four pint jars inside, and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to the boiling point. Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canner and place on a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, pack the chow chow into the jars, reserving a ½ inch of headspace.
Use a spatula or wooden chopstick to remove any trapped air bubbles around the interior circumference of the jar. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place on the lids and bands, tightening only until fingertip-tight. Again using a jar lifter, slowly place the filled jars in the canner. Be sure that the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes, starting the timer once the water is at a full, rolling boil. Adjust for altitude as needed.
*Chow chow tastes best if given at least two weeks’ time once jarred. This allows the vinegar to mellow a bit and the spices and vegetable flavors to meld together.
Ashley English is the author of 11 books, including Home Apothecary with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Create Natural Health and Body Care Products, Southern From Scratch: Pantry Essentials and Down-Home Recipes, and A Year of Picnics: Recipes for Dining Well in the Great Outdoors. She lives in Candler, North Carolina, with her husband, two sons, and a menagerie of chickens, dogs, cats, and bees. Smallmeasure.com