A simple recipe to make traditional lacto-fermented sauerkraut using only cabbage, salt and time.
Yield: 2 quarts
- 1 medium cabbage head, about 4 to 5 pounds
- 1-2 tablespoons sea salt
Optional: Feel free to add a few caraway seeds or Juniper berries if you'd like.
1. Peel 1 or 2 outer layers from the head of cabbage and set the leaves aside.
2. Cut cabbage head into quarters. Cut out core from each quarter and set core chunks aside.
3. Using a sharp knife, slice cabbage into thin shreds, about the thickness of a nickel and place in a large mixing bowl.
4. Sprinkle salt over cabbage, then toss cabbage and salt together. Begin to squeeze the cabbage and salt together with your hands, kneading it thoroughly to break up the cellular structure of the shredded cabbage. Knead for at least 10 minutes.
5. When the cabbage has become limp and releases its juice, transfer it to 2 clean Mason jars, packing the salted cabbage into as tightly as you can, eliminating air bubbles.
6. Continue packing the cabbage into the jars, leaving about 1" headspace. The cabbage should now be completely submerged by the liquid given off by the mixture. Cover the mixture with a leaf of cabbage and press down. Now put a chunk of the core on top of the leaf, and make sure it extends above the lip of the jar a bit. Now screw a lid onto the jar and as it closes, it should force the cabbage leaf under the liquid.
7. Allow jars to sit at room temperature, undisturbed, for a few days, opening the lid briefly every day to release pressure in jar.
Important: Place jars in a loaf pan or on a plate because the brine sometimes overflows out of the jar as the cabbage begins to ferment.
Very important: IF YOU DON'T RELEASE THE PRESSURE ONCE PER DAY THE JAR MIGHT EXPLODE.
8. Test the sauerkraut every few days until it is done to your liking. Transfer to the refrigerator or other cold storage where it should keep for at least 6 months and up to 1 year.
Brook Hurst Stephens - www.LearnToPreserve.com - Copyright 2013