Small Batch Homemade Fresh Sauerkraut Recipe
I love sauerkraut. Those of you who know me...know I can eat a sauerkraut sandwich and be a happy camper. I do consider myself somewhat of a sauerkraut snob - no tin can sauerkraut - EVER!! See My Mom's way of making sauerkraut.
While European peasants preserved the cabbage with salt in an effort to keep hunger away during the dark months, their preservation fulfilled another need - nourishment. The process of fermentation used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut increases vitamins and is extraordinarily rich in beneficial bacteria.
Cabbage is cheap. With the sales going on now for St. Patrick's Day, I bought a small head of cabbage today for $.18 cents! What can you buy these days for 18 cents? With corned beef on the horizon and a good Reuben sandwich in my future, I decided to try and make some homemade sauerkraut. Kraut is not any more difficult to make than coleslaw. Everyone makes coleslaw, so don't call me crazy. You don't need any special equipment and only two ingredients - cabbage and salt.
- 2 lbs. cabbage
- 2 Tbsp. sea salt
Chop or slice the cabbage. I sliced it as thin as possible. Toss with salt.
Squish the cabbage with a potato masher (or your fist if it's been a rough day) to start releasing the water from the cabbage.
Wait ten minutes. Squish down again.
Continue waiting and squishing until there is about 1" of liquid covering the cabbage (about 30 minutes).
If you don't have enough liquid, mix 1 tsp. sea salt with 1 cup of water and stir to dissolve.
I saved one piece of cabbage to add to the top of the cabbage to keep it submerged.
Set a small dish under the jar and leave it on the counter for 4 days with a lid on.** That's when the magic happens. All the GOOD bacteria comes out to play. It's safe and people have done this for centuries.
If you see any scum or "bloom" remove.
Refrigerate and store up to 3 months.
~Adapted from Wild Fermentation
Makes 1 Quart