Here is a quick and easy guide to making your own sauerkraut. Why ferment foods? I briefly explain why here. For ingredients, all you will need is organic cabbage and sea salt.
I use about 1.5 tablespoons of sea salt per every 3 pounds or so of cabbage.
Clean up your cabbage and shred it or grate it. Place the shredded cabbage in bowls and toss in some sea salt.
Then begin to layer your cabbage into your crock, alternating between layering the cabbage and sprinkling it with sea salt. Firmly pack the cabbage into the crock using some elbow grease. You can add additional veggies to your cabbage at this point as well, such as carrots, jalapenos, onions or garlic.
I was able to fit both of my cabbages in this gallon sized crock. The salt should pull water out from the cabbage which will create the brine that your cabbage needs to be submerged in. The older your cabbage is, the less water that will be pulled from the shreds.
Cover your cabbage with a lid or weight to keep the cabbage under the brine level. I’ve used jars full of water, clean rocks and other creative items to weigh down my lids. Just make sure whatever you use is sanitized.
If your brine does not rise above the cabbage, dissolve one tablespoon of sea salt in one cup of filtered water and add it to the crock. Cover the crock with cheesecloth, a pillowcase or any other breathable wrap. Store in a cool, dry place and check on your sauerkraut on a daily basis to make sure no mold has grown or bugs have found there way in. You also want to make sure the brine has not evaporated.
Taste test every week or so until you have reached your desired taste. I have had sauerkraut ready in two weeks and have left some fermenting as long as five weeks. Once it is complete, transfer the kraut into glass jars and keep it in the fridge!
Wondering about my beautiful crock? Most people ask me where they can find one for themselves. I bought mine from Jeremy Ogusky, a potter out in Boston. It is a handmade gallon size crock, which initially people think is too small, but I have found it to be just the right size. I refer to it as “the gem of my kitchen”. It’s not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing. See more of his crocks, recipes and portfolio here.