“kraut to kill for…”

Sauerkraut (from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)
Makes 1 quart
Core and thinly shred a medium head of cabbage (the fresher the better), about 2 lbs.  In a bowl, mix cabbage with 1 T. Caraway seeds, 2 tsp – 1 T sea salt (unrefined is best) and 4 T whey–this is optional (I usually make whey by straining plain yogurt, and then I use the strained yogurt like quark).  Pound cabbage with a wooden pounder or meat hammer for about 10 minutes to release juices.  Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with fist or wooden pounder until juices come above the top of the cabbage.  The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar (or the pressure will be too much as it ferments).  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage or the fridge. If it’s not as sour as you want it, try loosening the lid to release the pressure, then screw it on firmly. Repeat this daily until you find a flavor you like.   The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but it improves with age.  It will last for months in the fridge.

I have found that 3 days is a little short in this colder weather.  There is another way to seal the top which I have been playing around with.  The last batch I made, I followed that recipe and then tasted it.  I wanted it more sour, so I left it on the counter for a few more days (maybe 4-5?) and covered it with this other method.  Fill a ziploc with salted water, and put it in the top of the jar on the cabbage.  The weight of the water should press the cabbage down and the liquid should meet the back around the edges making a type of seal. This way air can escape as it is produced by the lacto-fermentation process, but it can’t get back in. Put it on a plate to catch overflow. You can taste it ever day or two with a clean fork, and then put it in the fridge once it is sour enough.  I have also found that it will continue to change flavor once in the fridge.  I just finished a batch that was a couple of weeks old and the flavor was delish.  I think ideally I would get on a schedule where I was eating kraut that I made about 3 weeks prior.

Anyway, good luck!  Let me know if you have any more questions and I can’t wait to hear how it goes. Check out this kimchi recipe as well.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

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