Getting at least 15 eggs a day right now, now is the time to make lacto-fermented hard-boiled eggs. I imagine this is the way our ancestors probably did it, more than likely…and these eggs are nothing like the “pucker yer lips” vinegar kind from the grocery store. These eggs have a lot of flavor, my favorite way to eat them is finely chopped and added to a salad…but they are at their best with a bit of pickled radish, homemade salami and a beer 😀
First, you must hard-boil the eggs. With super fresh eggs, just hours from the hen, this is a lot easier said then done. Really fresh eggs from healthy hens do not like to peel easily, and that’s a good thing! It means that the egg is capable of supporting and growing a baby chick. Most people don’t realize this but really fresh eggs are a pain in the ass to peel after they have been hard-boiled…unless you prick them first…
The fat rounded end of the egg always has an air pocket and pricking this pocket allows a bit of water to get inside the egg and separates the membrane from the shell. When the egg is ready to be peeled the shells just slip right off. You can also refrigerate them for at least a week, or let them sit on the counter (eggs stay good for a week to 10 days at room temperature). Doing this will cause them to dehydrate a bit and with less fluid in the egg the membrane becomes looser and not as tightly held against the shell, thus making it easier to peel. I’ve done it both ways and either way works just fine.
After hard-boiling and peeling all of the eggs, assemble the brine and whatever flavorings you intend to use. For this batch I used garlic, dill, salt and the leftover brine of a batch of lacto-fermented baby beets that was hiding in the back of the fridge leftover from last Fall.
I have this awesome old jar with a rubber ring that I bought from a flea market for $2.00 about 7 or 8 years ago…it is PERFECT for making large amounts of pickled eggs. Layer the eggs, with each new layer, sprinkle a bit of salt and a clove or two of garlic and some chopped fresh dill.
This jar holds about 28 hard-boiled eggs. Once you have all the eggs layered with the salt and flavorings, add some brine from a previous ferment…pickled radish brine works well but the brine of pickled beets is traditional as it lends a nice pink color to the egg. Add as much brine as you’d like, and then fill the rest of the way with pure clean water, either from a well or spring or filtered (the chlorine and flouride and other “nasties” in tap water WILL kill the bacteria responsible for fermentation…and just imagine what it’s doing to your body!)
Let the jar sit out on the counter for a few days, with the lid loosely closed to let the gases of fermentation escape…taste the eggs everyday until they reach your desired level of fermentation, once this happens store in the fridge (or some other cool place, like a basement or root cellar) to slow the fermentation down and keep it.