Russian Brine Pickles
This recipe is from Finland. Natural fermentation cures the
cucumbers much the same way sauerkraut is made.
- 15 to 20 lbs of cucumbers.
- 12 medium cloves of garlic, chopped.
- 80 grams of horseradish, chopped. Make sure yours is zesty.
Some can be pretty bland and you don't want that!
- 4 bunches of dill
- 2 chili peppers chopped. I used the yellow long ones and got
good results. Jalapenos were too mild. Careful you don't make them too hot!
- 250 grams of sea salt
- 6 liters of water
- Select only the freshest cucumbers. Avoid old and damaged
- Trim off the stems and scrub them under water.
- Dissolve the salt in the water. It's easier if you heat the
water. Let the brine cool to room temperature.
- Place the ingredients in a clean painters-type plastic
bucket in four layers. Add the brine to cover the ingredients. It is important
that all the ingredients are totally submerged to avoid spoilage.
- Place a heavy plate over the ingredients to weigh them down.
A heavy stone is handy for adding a little extra weight. Cover the bucket with
a loose lid.
- Allow the pickles to cure for a few days in a warm room. You
will notice bubbles forming. This is the normal fermentation process at work.
If a scum or film forms on the surface, skim it away. It is normal. After a few
days to a week and you are certain the fermentation is working, move the bucket
to a cooler place such as a basement. In about 2 or 3 weeks, the process will
- As always with preserving food, be careful of spoilage.
- Slimy pickles or a bad odor a sign of spoilage. - Some
shriveling is normal especially if your cucumbers were not very fresh. Don't
eat them if you suspect they have gone bad.
- The cooler the place you store the bucket, the longer they
will last. I kept mine for about 5 months.
- Every now and then skim off a mold from the surface! The
pickles were not at all harmed by this.
- The original recipe calls for a piece of sour hardtack bread
to give the bacteria some extra food and that contributed to the mold and extra
cloudiness in the brine.
- The bread is entirely unnecessary in warmer climes but can
be useful near the arctic.