Originally posted April 2013. This time of year yields great cabbage sales. Buy as many as you can afford and make kraut.
I finally made sauerkraut that I
like love! I’ve made sauerkraut a couple of times and it either ended up moldly or was way to gross to eat. I came to the conclusion that I just didn’t like it….hey, I’m from Texas we don’t eat sauerkraut there. Recently I scored a great deal on cabbage (.19 a lb! I bought 15 heads), and told myself that I would try to make sauerkraut just one last time. And boy am I glad I did!
I tried two different methods. The open crock method and the airtight crock method. There wasn’t a noticeable difference between the two. I found that the airtight crock produced sauerkraut that has a slightly sharper bite, or more tang if ya will. But not so much that it was a big difference.
I found that the airtight method was easier. Sure the cabbage is prepared the same way, but when using the airtight method I used a plastic bag filled with water as the weight to weigh the cabbage down so that it would be fully submerged under the brine. The open crock left me with a swaying tower of books on the counter for 5 days. Perhaps it’s just the way I went about weighing the cabbage down, but I think I will be using the airtight method from now on.
Day 5 ready for the fridge
- 1 head cabbage
- 1 large carrot
- sea salt
- large non-reactive bowl (glass, plastic, wood, ceramic)
- large non reactive vessel or crock
- gallon zip top bag
- Wash cabbage and carrot, remove outer cabbage leaves and set aside, discard the cabbage heart.
- Thinly slice or shred cabbage and place in a large non reactive bowl.
- Cut carrot in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half lengthwise, dice carrot into small bite size pieces, add carrot to the cabbage.
- Salt the cabbage and carrot mixture generously.
- Toss the cabbage/carrot mixture to evenly distribute salt, as you toss squeeze the cabbage gently to release the cabbage juice (this will create a brine).
- Taste your cabbage, it should taste salty but not repulsive. Add more salt if necessary.
- Place the cabbage/carrot mixture in a large non-reactive vessel or crock and place the whole cabbage leaves over the cabbage/carrot mixture, press down firmly.
- Put the gallon zip top bag inside the crock and then fill the bag with water and seal the bag (this should weigh down the cabbage to fully submerge it under the brine. Seal jar/crock.
- Check your cabbage every 24 hours. After the first 24 hours your cabbage mixture should be fully submerged under the brine, if not mix 1 tablespoon of sea salt into 2 cups of water and pour over cabbage mixture until fully submerged. 'Burp' your crock or vessel daily (simply open the lid and immediately close) to let off any gasses during the fermentation process.
- Leave on the counter for 4-7 days to ferment then store in a cool place such as a refrigerator or cellar.
The airtight crock I use:
The crock I used for the ‘open’ method: