Good sauerkraut — make your own

Yesterday, I wrote about my hunt for good sauerkraut and how, while I found a great store-bought product, we ultimately decided to make our own.

Fortunately, making sauerkraut is quite simple.  For this batch, we started with the following ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 heads purple cabbage
  • ~3 T. pickling salt

  1. Shred the cabbage — we took a shortcut with the food processor.
  2. Put a layer of shredded cabbage in a clean crock, sprinkle with salt, and repeat until you use all of the cabbage.
  3. Place a clean dish towel over the top layer of cabbage; top with a plate that’s about the diameter of the crock (and fits inside the crock).
  4. Place some kind of weight on top of the plate — we used two quart canning jars filled with water as our weights.
  5. After a couple of hours, the salt should pull enough water fro the cabbage so that the liquid completely covers all of the cabbage.  This is very important — if there is not enough liquid, boil 3-4 cups of water, add 1 t. salt (making a brine), let cool, and add to crock.  Repeat if necessary until all of the cabbage is completely submerged.
  6. Now you wait — every couple of days, remove the weights and clean the plate and towel.  Check the liquid level after reassembling — you may lose some liquid with the towel.  If this happens, simply make more of the brine and add as necessary.
  7. You can start tasting the cabbage after 1 week, but it will take 3-6 weeks (depending on the temperature) to really ferment and become sauerkraut.

I intended to include our fabulous veggie reuben recipe in this post, but figuring out how to make the photo collages took a bit longer than expected, so I’ll keep you in suspense on the reubens for now (the bottom left picture in the collage provides a sneak peak).

For a bit more info on the sauerkraut making process, try here or here.