Sauerkraut

sauerkraut for the truly patient

Most folks buy it already made, but the 1975 version of Joy of Cooking (Canada, UK) has a recipe for the truly patient. 

It calls for 1 lb of salt for 40 lbs of cabbage (or 2 teaspoons salt for each pound of cabbage). Dispose of the outer leaves, core, quarter, shred the cabbage, and then mix it with the salt. Put it in a stone crock to within 2 inches of the top. Cover with a cloth and plate or board that fits inside the crock, and place enough weight on the plate to force the brine in the cabbage to rise high enough to wet the cloth. 

When it begins to ferment, skim off the scum, replace the cloth, and wash the plate or board each day. At 60°F (16°C), the fermenting process will take at least a month. A higher temperature will speed up the process, but the taste will not be as good. Once the fermentation is finished, you should heat the sauerkraut to 180°F (82°C), place it in canning jars, adding enough kraut juice (or a brine of 2 tablespoons of salt per quart of water) to cover it, and process it in a boiling-water bath.

 

Homemade Sauerkraut

2 pounds green cabbages, shredded
2 Tbsp coarse, kosher, or sea salt
1 tsp sugar.

Toss the cabbage, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Let sit at room
temperature for 1 hour, or until the cabbage has released a lot of water.

If there is not enough brine, the sauerkraut will go bad before it ferments. Place the cabbage in a large glass or glazed earthenware jar or canister, first squeezing the liquid from each handful back into the bowl.

After you've added all the sauerkraut, push it down with your fist to make it more compact. Then pour in enough brine to cover the cabbage by at least 1 inch. Insert a small plate, large enough to cover all the cabbage, inside the jar to keep the cabbage submerged. Drape the canister with a cloth and let sit at room temperature for 2-4 weeks.

Check the plate after a couple of days. If it's floating on the brine, place another plate on top of the first to create more weight.

It's ready when it tastes like sauerkraut. Makes 5 cups.

 

Red Onion Sauerkraut
Origin unknown

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion (about 1 pound)
3 whole cloves
5 juniper berries
4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 1/4 medium head)
a 1-pound package or canned sauerkraut, drained
3 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 bay leaf


In a large heavy skillet (measuring about 12 inches across and 2 1/2 inches deep) heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté onion with cloves and juniper berries, stirring, until browned, about 10 minutes. Add cabbage, sauerkraut, sugar, wine, vinegar, and bay leaf and simmer stirring occasionally and adding water if mixture becomes dry, until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes. Sauerkraut may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Discard bay leaf and serve sauerkraut at room temperature. Serves 6

 

Making Sauerkraut

Shred Cabbage no thicker than a dime.
For each 5 pounds of cabbage sprinkle
3 TBSP. CANNING/PICKLING SALT over it.

MIX THOROUGHLY WITH CLEAN HANDS OR STAINLESS STEEL SPOON.

PACK FIRMLY AND EVENLY INTO A CROCK THAT HAS BEEN WASHED WITH SOAPY WATER,AND RINSED.

JUICES WILL FORM. KEEP CABBAGE COVERED WITH JUICE AS YOU PACK BY PACKING SLOWLY AND PRESSING CABBAGE DOWN.

NOW THE CABBAGE NEEDS TO BE COVERED AND WEIGHTED DOWN,TO KEEP IT SUBMERGED IN BRINE.

FILL A LARGE FOOD-GRADE PLASTIC BAG WITH BRINE SOLUTION
[1 1/2 TBSP. SALT TO 1 QT. WATER]
AND LAY OVER CABBAGE .

BAG SHOULD FIT SNUGLY AGAINST INSIDE OF CROCK TO seal surface FROM EXPOSURE TO AIR. COVER CROCK WITH A heavy TERRY TOWEL.

TIE TWINE AROUND CROCK TO HOLD TOWEL IN PLACE. DO NOT OPEN UNTIL FERMENTATION TIME IS COMPLETED.

FERMENTATION WILL BEGIN THE NEXT DAY.

HOW LONG IT TAKES DEPENDS ON ROOM TEMPERATURE. FOR BEST QUALITY SAUERKRAUT:

A ROOM TEMP. OF 75 DEG. is ideal, and it will take about 3 WEEKS.

AT 70 DEG. ALLOW ABOUT 4 WEEKS AND SO ON.

A ROOM TEMPERATURE ABOVE 75 DEG. WILL RESULT IN POSSIBLE SPOILAGE.

FERMENTATION IS COMPLETE IF BUBBLING HAS STOPPED AND NO BUBBLES RISE WHEN CROCK IS TAPPED GENTLY.

TO CAN SAUERKRAUT,POUR KRAUT INTO LARGE KETTLE, BRING SLOWLY TO A BOIL, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. REMOVE FROM HEAT.

PACK KRAUT INTO HOT JARS,PRESSING DOWN AS YOU PACK TO REMOVE AIR BUBBLES. COVER KRAUT WITH JUICE TO WITHIN 1/2 " OF JAR TOP.

WIPE RIM OF JAR; ADJUST LIDS.

PROCESS IN BOILING WATER BATH.
PINT JARS...15 MINUTES.
QUART JARS 2O MINUTES

REMOVE JARS FROM CANNER AND ADJUST LIDS AND LET COOL.

EACH QUART JAR HOLDS ABOUT
2 1/2 LBS.OF SAUERKRAUT;
50 LBS. CABBAGE = ABOUT 18 QUARTS.

 

I found a recipe that you do everything the same as in a crock except you use a big mayonnaise jar.

Work the salt into the cabbage and when it makes it own juice pack into a big mayonnaise jar, putting the plastic bag with a salty brine on top to hold down the cabbage and put in a cool place with a bag over the top, it says to check once in a while and if there is mold in it just clean it out and wash the plastic bag and replace.

I also made some in a canning jars along time ago, using qt jars, just pack and add salt to the cabbage in the jars.

Cover with lids, and sit it some where where if it boils over it will not make a mess, after it stops fermenting you could put new lids on and water bath it 20 min for qts and 15 for pints. Good luck!

 

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