So its been awhile since I have posted a recipe with instruction so here ya go. I made my first sauerkraut of the year this week and wanted share the experience with you. So without further ado here we go.
2 heads of cabbage sliced about 1/8" thick with the core removed
1 garlic clove
1 yellow onion
2 Tablespoons Juniper Berries
1Tablespoon Caraway seeds
2 Bay leafs
2-3 Tablespoons of sea salt course of fine
1 One gallon glass jar wide enough to place a small plate over the top
1 Chefs knife
1 Cutting board
1 large stainless steel bowl
First place the heads of stem down and cut it in half from top to bottom so that the core is exposed in the middle of both halves. Using the tip of your make a cut along the outer edge of the core at an angle towards the center so you cut as if making a triangle out of the core. Repeat this step on the other side of the core. You should have been able to remove the whole core, if not just cut away the remaining part of the core. If there is a little this ok it will have a touch more texture in the finished product. Repeat this step for the other half. Once the core is removed place the halve flat side down on your cutting board. Slice the cabbage as thin or thick as you prefer. Place the sliced cabbage into the bowl. Once all the cabbage is sliced and in the bowl add the slat, caraway and, juniper berries. Toss it all together until the salt has covered all the cabbage and it has started to release water. This process will help to keep the cabbage crispy and also create the brine for the curing. Once well combined begin placing the cabbage into the glass jar, pressing it down firmly after every two or three scoops. As you continue to fill the jar and press down you'll notice water begin to release from the cabbage. That is your brine. Once all your cabbage is in your jar place the small plate over the top of the cabbage and weigh it down with a can or other well weighted object that is clean. Place the cheese cloth over the the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band or twine what ever you have available. Now place it somewhere in the kitchen that it is out of the way and let it rest. Give it a good press after about an hour just to get a another good amount of water. I do this often for the first day. After about two days your cabbage will begin to smell like sauerkraut, and the brine will cover the cabbage completely. Give it a try and see how it tastes, it may take up to four days to be right, and once it is it can be stored in a cool dry place for a month. Just a note if mold develops on top of the liquid that is perfectly fine, just skim the top to remove as much as possible. This mold will hurt the sauerkraut.
If your like me and like to have a good supply all year make sure to watch how much you have left and time your next accordingly. You can use the liquid from the first batch to brine the next, it will just keep getting better. Each time. There also a ton of great resources in the web in the way of recipes. I recommend trying this traditional batch first then experimenting with other combinations. For example use green and red cabbage and it will create a pink sauerkraut. Try just red cabbage, add apples cinnamon and star anise for a sweet and sour style. There are endless possibilities so get and create one of your own. Happy cooking.