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FIJ Mastery Challenge: Brussels Sprouts [May. 28th, 2017|04:07 pm]
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Raw-Packed Brussels Sprouts
in part for the Food In Jars food preservation challenge: May Raw/Cold Pack processing

Like last month, I wasn't sure what to make for this month. I have water-bath canned before (rather a lot), but I've never raw-packed before. I was also eight kinds of busy through most of the month. I'd originally decided to do some whole tomatoes. But then things got away from me, and four days later, the not-spectacular tomatoes I'd picked had started going spotty and a bit fuzzy. I also don't typically keep bottled lemon juice around the house, so the one day I had that week to can, I couldn't get to a grocery store for the lemon juice (of course), so I ended up cutting off the bad tomato bits, cut the rest into chunks, and spread them on a tray for the dehydrator. A few days later, I had another, unexpected, trip to the grocery store, and picked up a bag of Brussels sprouts. Why Brussels sprouts? I looked up "easy raw pack water bath canning" on my smart phone in the middle of the produce section, one of the first ten recipes to come up was pickled Brussels sprouts, the sprouts looked good (the carrots and tomatoes in the store most certainly did *not*), I had everything else in the recipe at home, and my household likes regular cooked sprouts. We have a winner - onward!

I used Marissa McClellan's recipe from Serious Eats

It's pretty easy-peasy. No-doubts-sprouts, maybe? Never mind.

Fire up the canner.

Make the brine. Slice the sprouts in half. Be so busy admiring their tightly-packed cabbage-ness that you forget to take pictures of them.

Divide the spices among the jars. Pack with sprouts.
raw brussels sprouts

Pour the brine over the sprouts. Realize you need at least twice as much brine as recipe calls for, even though you packed those sprouts like a mofo. Hope first batch doesn't cool off too much while you make second round of brine. Do your best to knock the air bubbles loose, keeping in mind that it will be impossible to do completely, given all the teeny-tiny bits of air trapped in each layer of thousands, millions of tiny, tightly-packed leaves.
pickled brussels sprouts

Process jars according to recipe.

Remove jars. Notice siphoning occurred with a couple of the jars.
pickled brussles sprouts

Wonder if jars are still good. Look up "siphoning water bath canning". Decide jars are fine, the lids are sealed, just use those jars first.

How did they taste? "Raw, a little pickled. But good. I'll eat these but I wouldn't ask you to go out of your way to make them again soon." Further solicitation of opinions is ongoing. Will update soon.

Check out the Food In Jars tag for the other 11 months of the FIJ Mastery Challenge 2017.