Sunday, November 15, 2009
Making sauerkraut: Begin with a 5 gallon glass jug or clean plastic bucket or pickle keg crock without any cracks( this must 'ding' with a clear ring when you strike the edge.Otherwise, cracks will leak toxins into the kraut as it ferments and becomes more acidic.Buy a new one instead of trusting older ones from the flea market or antique store).
2-3 large cabbages and plain Kosher salt(non iodized) is all you will need.(Iodized salt will discolor the sauerkraut).
DO NOT use the darker green leaves.(Ruins the taste)Use only the white portion of the cabbage. Make pigs in the blanket or something else with the green leaves.
1.Fill a very clean sink with cold water.Cut up cabbages with a meat cleaver.Toss chopped leaves into the water to cleanse leaves and moisten them.
2.Place leaves in a food chopper vegetable grinder.This will give you perfectly shredded kraut.
3.I place 2 of these chopper bowls of packed shredded kraut per layer in the keg or bucket.
4. Sprinkle 1/4 c. Kosher salt(or less) across & over the top and then mix it in a little. Pack it down firmly with a wooden mallet.
5. Repeat this process layer by layer until all cabbage is in there.
6. Take a kitchen size plastic garbage bag with a few gallons of water and stick it in the crock so that the bag of water spreads over the top layer .Press around so that all air pockets are removed .
Store in basement or in a not too warm room for 5 weeks.Do not open to check it or you will allow air in.After that, remove any scum off top layer. Can or freeze kraut.
If you want to make smaller amounts, use a 1 gallon glass jar and use same instructions.