Sauerkraut

Bruce

Bruce from Plot 79 offers this recipe which he got from a Polish colleague which she got from her Dad.

Ingredients

2 kg cabbage – red, white or green (about two medium cabbages)

2 heaped tablespoons of salt (I use sea salt, 1 heaped tablespoon is 14 g, this gives a salt to veg ratio of 1.4%. This is just at the lower end of the range recommended by Katz (see below), of 1.5% to 2% for dry salting)

4 tablespoons of sugar (optional, if you like the milder taste of sauerkraut)

3 tablespoons of caraway seeds (optional, if you like it)

Method

barrelRemove any bad looking (outer) leaves. Wash the cabbage. Shred it (without the hard core). Add salt (sugar and caraway if you like). Mix the ingredients. Put into a wooden barrel (I have a 10 litre oak barrel, but any non-metallic container will do). Tamp the cabbage down firmly for 20 to 30 minutes, (I use a baseball bat), until you see the juice. The cabbage must be covered in its own liquid.

Red cabbage does not produce as much juice as white summer cabbage so you will probably need to make some: 500 ml boiled water, with 1 tablespoon of salt, the water must be at room temperature before you add it to the cabbage. (I think the reason for boiling the water is to release the chlorine in the tap water which may kill off some of the lacto-bacteria necessary for the sauerkraut process).

Put something heavy on top of the cabbage (it should be squeezed at all times) and leave in a dark place. After about 3 days remove the weight. After about 10 days of fermentation the sauerkraut is ready.

I put the sauerkraut in jars and store in cool place (8 -10 °C, is ideal but this I’ve found not to be critical).

The sauerkraut will keep for months and provide you with Vitamin C and healthy gut bacteria throughout the winter.

 Further reading

Katz, S E., 2012, The Art of Fermentation: an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world, Chelsea Green, New York

Resources

Wooden Storage Barrels

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