Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sauerkraut or Sauerkraut? It's All Good

The other day I got an email from Son Tony.  The subject was Homemade Saurkraut‏:
Gotta pass this one on. Ridiculously easy and great results. Remove the core and finely chop a head of red cabbage. Add 1.5 tbsp sea salt or pickling salt (can't use regular iodized because it messes up the fermenting) into a bowl with the cabbage. Mix firmly by hand to start breaking up the cabbage and release the juice. Pack firmly into mason jars, only fill each about 3/4 full. Add water to the jars to fill up to the neck of the jar. Seal jars and leave on the counter for 7 days. Supposed to be really good for you like yogurt because there is live bacteria unlike the canned stuff.
I love saurkraut, but had never thought of making it myself.  Of COURSE I had to try it!  Last Tuesday I bought the necessary ingredients, and after dinner I began the culinary adventure.  I had a few questions, though, and exchanged a series of texts with Tony:
Me: Getting ready to start saurkraut. Do you think using the slicing blade of food processor would make it small enough?
Tony: I read a couple recipes that recommended doing it that way. You can probably get it thinner than I did cutting by hand.
Tony: Also can't remember if I told you 2 tbsp or 1.5 tbsp of salt... Mine ended up a little salty so next time I will reduce a little.
Me: Do you remember about how many pounds your head was (or how many jars you filled)?
Tony: It was 3 lbs and it filled 2 quart jars to the top. I should have spread it into 3 jars and left more headspace so they wouldn't have leaked.
Me: Thanks for all the tips :-)
It only took me 20 minutes from the time I got out the food processor until there were two jars sitting on the counter waiting to ferment.  Based on Tony's experiences I placed a plastic produce bag underneath.  For the next week I'd check the jars a couple of times a day.  At first nothing happened, but on Day 3 the jars were sitting in a small puddle of purple liquid that had leaked out.  The same thing happened on Day 4.  In both cases I cleaned up the mess and made sure the lids were secure.

Last night we broke open the first jar and served it with leftover pork steaks and french fries. It was the best saurkraut I've ever had; crunchy but tender, with a nice sour taste.  Hubby Tony and I polished off half of one container.  Tonight I made the same dinner, substituting mashed potatoes for the fries.  I'm not sure how I'll use the second jar, but I'm looking forward to figuring it out.

One last note.  I wondered about Son Tony's choice of cabbage, so I asked him why he used red instead of the more traditional green.  His response: I just like the color!


  1. Hmmmm... sounds interesting. Such a nice small amount would be ideal for planning ahead to make some spare ribs and kraut. My family loves kraut (me, not so much... but I love ribs cooked in it. Go figure!).

    After the 7 days, do you then put the jars in the fridge?

  2. OK, I'm passing this along to the cookerer in our house.

  3. gosh this does sound simple, and I do like sauerkraut, thanks for sharing!

  4. Hmmmm... you know... I've never been into sauerkraut, but my husband loves it. Oh, but wait, I do love Reubens too.

  5. Good for you to make your own, I've made sauerkraut several times and it's so delicious!