Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sauerkraut

I love sauerkraut and it's the season for starting some!

The best sauerkraut is made with the late cabbages, which is great because I'm so tired in September that I couldn't put up another thing.   By this time of year, I'm desperate to do something harvest-y, if you know what I mean, and sauerkraut is perfect.

What you need:
  • Cabbage
  • Salt:   2 Tablespoons per head of cabbage.
Really.   That's all.

What you do:

1.  Cut up the cabbage in shreds.   Ideally 1/8 inch wide.
2.  Sprinkle it with salt.
3.  Pound the living crap out of it.   Or at least pound it until the cabbage is covered in its own juice.
4.  Put it in jars and press it down until it's covered by liquid.
5.  Sprinkle extra salt on top.  Be generous - it's going to keep the mold away.
6.  Let it sit in a cool place for 4-6 weeks to ferment.


It's really very simple, isn't it.

Some things that I've learned over the years:
1.  You can put the cabbage in the food processor, but it looks more like cole slaw than sauerkraut when you're done.   It does juice up faster.    You decide which is more imporant - shreds or juice.
2.  Put extra salt in when you're using an extra big head of cabbage.
3.  Use a potato masher to pound with.   Very efficient.
4.  Pound in a plastic bucket.   Seriously.   Really.
5.  You can ferment it in a warmer place, but you're much more likely to mold.   I hate it when my sauerkraut molds before it's done.   I keep mine in a mudroom that's between 55-65 degrees.  It takes a couple weeks longer, but the product is better.
6.  Don't forget - sauerkraut smells like farts while it's doing its thing.   It's normal.
7.  Keep the sauerkraut away from your bread making area and vinegar making area.   Those yeasts might cause problems for your sauerkraut.


Here are notes from the last time I posted about sauerkraut.

So, how do you like to eat your sauerkraut?

3 comments:

  1. Hubby makes his in an 8-gallon crock...it's a hand-me down from his dad. He also got the antique shredder and stomper, which may have been his great grandfather's.

    Interesting about yeast having an effect on sauerkraut. We keep ours in the garage so there's no danger of coming in contact with my breads. ;)

    By the way, I can't get to the "notes from the last time I made sauerkraut" page...it says my current account doesn't have permission to access that page.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Teresa! Link is fixed now.

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  3. Thank you! Will check it out. :)

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