Friday, August 6, 2010

Sauerkraut

I have an abundance of cabbage this year, so decided to try my hand at making sauerkraut. I've seen recipes online that say after it ferments you can pack it in jars as is without sealing. However, I'm not a big fan of botulism! ;-)

I have recently come across a recipe that does have you process and can the kraut once it's fermented so I decided to give it a try.

The recipe I have calls for a head of cabbage for each quart. You shred each head of cabbage into dime thin pieces. Sprinkle 4 tsp. of salt over each head and mix well.

Then put it into a large crock or glass jar. ... I used a big cookie jar and press down with a wooden spoon until juice forms and covers the cabbage. This takes awhile (probably 20-30 minutes). Screw the lid on loosely and let sit 7-10 days.

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I checked it every day and pressed the cabbage down once a day to make sure the juice stayed above the cabbage. After 7-10 days the brine level drops suddenly, indicating that the kraut is done.

Pack tightly into quart jars and press down with a wooden spoon to remove gas bubbles. Add more brine made of 4 tsp. salt to 1 quart of water to fill jars.

Set jars in a canner with warm water. Bring it to a boil, cover and boil for 30 minutes. Seal.

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This is a mild, fresh-flavored kraut. The only thing I messed up on is that with one of the jars I either didn't get all the gas bubbles out or I packed it too full because while I was processing the jar in the water the top buckled and some of the juice came out. I replaced the top and just stored that one in the fridge.

I would imagine that the kraut continues to ferment as it is stored. It tasted pretty good and I'll be making a few more jars.